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Which we have heard and known and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from 
their children. ... He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their 
children ; that the generation to come might know them. PSALM Ixxviii. 

Write this for a Memorial in a book. EXODUS xvii. 14. 


pt\ns / 



A. Fox Hill in the Marsh. 

B. West Hill. \ Treamount, 

C. Gentry, later Beacon Hill, [180 feet]. later 

D. Cotton Hill. ) Beacon Hill. 

E. Windmill Hill, Snow Hill, later Copp's Hill, [50 feet]. 

F. Corn Hill, later Fort Hill, [80 feet]. 


G. Watering Place. [Pond.] 
H. Green. 

K. Springgate. 

L. First Meeting-House. 

M. Open Market. 

N. Jail. 

P. School. 

Q. Mill Creek, (partly excavated, 1643,) and South Mill. 

R. Ship here built l>y Nehemiah Bourne. 

S. First Burial Ground. 

T. Blackstone's lot, (dotted line). 

V. North Mill. 

W. Drawbridge, (gave away, 1659). 

X. North Battery, 1646. 

Y. Tuthill's Windmill. 

Z. Gate and Defences. 


1. Gov. Winthrop. 

2. Rev. John Cotton. 

3. Rev. John Wilson. 

4. Capt. Robt. Keayne. 

5. Edward Tyng. 

6. Gov. Bellingham. 

7. Samuel Cole, (first tavern.) 

8. Henry Dunster. 

9. Thos. Savage. 





1630 1880. 



/ / 


7r- re 


VOL. I. 


Issued under the business superintendence of the projector, 

g. C. C. H. LIBRARY 
50 West Broadway 
South Boston, Mass. 




Copyright, 1880, 

All Rights Reserved. 


HPHE scheme of this History originated with Mr. CLARENCE F. 
JEWETT, who, towards the end of December, 1879, entrusted 
the further development of the plan to the Editor. On the third 
of January following, about thirty gentlemen met, upon invitation, 
to give countenance to the undertaking, and at this meeting a 
Committee was appointed to advise with the Editor during 
the progress of the work. This Committee consisted of the Rev. 
DEANE, LL.D. The Editor desires to return thanks to them for 
their counsel in assigning the chapters to writers, and for other 
assistance ; and to DR. DEANE particularly for his suggestions 
during the printing. Since Messrs. JAMES R. OSGOOD & Co. 
succeeded to the rights of Mr. JEWETT as publisher, the latter 
gentleman has continued to exercise a supervision over the 
business management. 

The History is cast on a novel plan, not so much in being 
a work of co-operation, but because, so far as could be, the several 
themes, as sections of one homogeneous whole, have been treated 
by those who have some particular association and, it may be, long 
acquaintance with the subject. In the diversity of authors there 
will of course be variety of opinions, and it has not been thought 
ill-judged, considering the different points of view assumed by 
the various writers, that the same events should be interpreted 


sometimes in varying, and perhaps opposite, ways. The chapters 
may thus make good the poet's description, 

"Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea," 

and may not be the worse for each offering a reflection, according 
to its turn to the light, without marring the unity of the general 
expanse. The Editor has endeavored to prevent any unnecessary 
repetitions, and to provide against serious omissions of what might 
naturally be expected in a history of its kind. He has allowed 
sometimes various spellings of proper names to stand, rather than 
abridge the writers' preferences, in cases where the practice is not 
uniform. Such annotations as he has furnished upon the texts of 
others have, perhaps, served to give coherency to the plan, and 
they have in all cases been made distinctly apparent. For the 
selection of the illustrations, which, with a very few exceptions, 
are from new blocks and plates, Mr. Jewett and the Editor are 
mainly responsible. Special acknowledgments for assistance in 
this and in other ways are made in foot-notes throughout the 



September, 1880. 


FRONTISPIECE. Boston, old and new, a topographical map . . . Facing titlepage 





THE KING'S MISSIVE, 1661. John G. Whittier. xxv 

ILLUSTRATIONS : Boston Town-house, Endicott and Shattuck, xxvii ; the Jail 
Delivery, xxviii ; the Quakers on the Common, xxix ; the Great Windmill 
on Snow Hill, xxx ; tail-piece, xxxii. 

$refjtstortc periotr anlr Natural PH 


THE GEOLOGY OF BOSTON AND ITS ENVIRONS. Nathaniel Southgate Shaler . i 



ILLUSTRATION: The Great Auk, 12. 



ILLUSTRATION : The Great Elm on Boston Common, 21. 



ILLUSTRATION : A Norse Ship, 25. 


Winsor 37 

ILLUSTRATIONS: Cosa's Map (1500), 39; Stephanius's Map (1570), 39; Fernando 
Columbus's Map (1527), 41 ; French Map (1542-43), 43; Lok's Map (i5>S2), 
44; Hood's Map (1592), 45 ; Wytfliet's Map (1597), 45 ; Champlain's Map 
(1612), 49; Lescarbot's Map (1612), heliotype, 49; John Smith's Map (1614), 
heliotype, 52; Portrait of Smith, heliotype, 52; Figurative Map (1614), 57; 
Jacobsz's Map (1621), 58; Governor Winthrop's Sketch of Coast, 61. 

AUTOGRAPHS: Champlain, 48; John Smith, 50; Isaac Allerton, 60. 



Francis Adams, Jr. 63 

ILLUSTRATIONS: Squaw Rock, or Squantum Head, 64; Miles Standish, 65; 
Standish's Sword and a Matchlock, 66 ; Blackstone's Lot, 84. 

AUTOGRAPHS: Miles Standish, 63; Phinehas Pratt, 70; Ferdinando Gorges, 72 ; 
Samuel Maverick, 78 ; Thomas Morton, 82. 




ILLUSTRATION : Seal of the Council for New England, 92. 
AUTOGRAPH : Joshua Scottow, 97. 

BOSTON FOUNDED. Robert C. Winthrop 99 

ILLUSTRATIONS: The Winthrop Cup, heliotype, 114; Plan of Ten Hills (1636), 
heliotype, 114; Winthrop's Fleet, 115; "Trimountaine shall be called Bos- 
ton," htliotype, 116; St. Botolph's Church, 117; First page of the Town 
Records, hcliotype, 122; Sir Harry Vane, 125; John Winthrop, 137; Letter 
of John Hampden in fac-simile, 140. 

AUTOGRAPHS: Matthew Cradock, 102; Margaret Winthrop, 104; John Winthrop, 
114; John Wilson, 114; Isaac Johnson, 114; Thomas Dudley, 114; Hugh 
Peter, 124; John Haynes, 124; Harry Vane, 125; Sir Richard Saltonstall, 
129; Richard Saltonstall, Jr., 129. 



ILLUSTRATIONS: John Cotton, 157; Sir Richard Saltonstall, 183; Recantation 
of Winlock Christison, in fac-simile, 188. 

AUTOGRAPHS: John Cotton, 157; Samuel Gorton, 170; Roger Williams, 171; 
William Coddington, 174; William Aspinwall, 175; Edward Rainsford, 
175; Thomas Savage, 175; John Underhill, 175; John Wheelwright, 176; 
John Clarke, 178; Mary Trask, 185; Margaret Smith, 185; William Dyer, 
186; Nicholas Upsall, 187; Dorothy Upsall, 187; William Greenough, 187; 
Elizabeth Upsall, 187 ; Experience Upsall, 187 ; Susannah Upsall, 187. 



ILLUSTRATIONS: Samuel Willard, heliotype, 208; Cotton Mather, heliotype, 208; 
Simon Bradstreet, 209 ; the first King's Chapel, 214. 

AUTOGRAPHS: John Davenport, 193; Thomas Thacher, 194; James Allen, 194, 
206; Increase Mather, 194, 206; John Russell, 195 ; Robert Ratcliffe, 200; 
John Eliot, 206; Samuel Phillips, 206; Joshua Moodey, 206; Samuel 
Willard, 208. 

BOSTON AND THE COLONY. Charles C. Smith 217 

ILLUSTRATION: The Old Aspinwall House, 221. 
AUTOGRAPH : Robert Keayne, 237. 



ILLUSTRATIONS: Charles Sprague's Ode (1830), in fac-simile, 246; Indian Deed 
of Boston, heliotype, 250; John Eliot, the Apostle, 261. 

AUTOGRAPHS: John Mason, 253; Israel Stoughton, 253; Lion Gardiner, 253; 
Miantonomo, 253; John Eliot, 263. 



AUTOGRAPHS: D'Aulnay, 285; Edward Gibbons, 286; La Tour, 288; William 
Hathorne, 292 ; Daniel Denison, 292 ; Commissioners of the United Colonies 
(Theophilus Eaton, John Endicott, John Haynes, Stephen Goodyear, Her- 
bert Pelham, Edward Hopkins, John Brown, Timothy Hatherly), 300; 
another group (Simon Bradstreet, Daniel Denison, Thomas Prence, James 
Cudworth, John Mason, John Tallcott, Theophilus Eaton, William Leete), 


FROM WINTHROP'S DEATH TO PHILIP'S WAR. Thomas W. Higginson . . . 303 
ILLUSTRATION : John Endicott, 308. 

AUTOGRAPHS : James Davids, 305 ; John Endicott, 307, 308 ; Richard Belling- 

ham, 307 ; Daniel Gookin, 307. 
VOL. I. B. 


PHILIP'S WAR. Edward E. Hale 

ILLUSTRATIONS: Secretary Rawson's Memorandum on Captain Richard, 313; 
John Leverett, 315; Thomas Savage, 318; a part of Hubbard's Map of New 
England (1677), 328. 

AUTOGRAPHS : Josiah Winslow, 311 ; Wussausman, 311 ; Richard Russell, 312; 
Thomas Danforth, 312 ; Daniel Denison, 313; Samuel Mosley, 313; Com- 
missioners of the United Colonies (Thomas Danforth, President, William 
Stoughton, Josiah Winslow, Thomas Hinckley, Jr., John Winthrop, Wait 
Winthrop), 314 ; John Leverett, 316 ; Thomas Clark, 316 ; William Hudson, 
316; Thomas Savage, 316; John Hull, 316; Daniel Henchman, 316, 317 ; 
James Oliver, 316; John Richards, 316; Isaac Johnson, 319; Thomas 
Wheeler, 320; Nathaniel Davenport, 323; Samuel Appleton, 323; William 
Turner, 325; Philip's mark, 325. 



ITS FINAL Loss IN 1684. Charles Deane ........... 329 

ILLUSTRATIONS: The Massachusetts Charter, heliotype, 329; Oliver Cromwell, 
348; Edward Rawson, 381. 

AUTOGRAPHS: Charles I., 331 ; John Hull, 354; Royal Commissioners (Richard 
Nicolls, Robert Carr, George Cartwright, Samuel Maverick), 358 ; Richard 
Bellingham, 360 ; Edmund Randolph, 364 ; Charles II., 365; Simon Brad- 
street, 369 ; Thomas Danforth, 369 ; Joseph Dudley, 369 ; Daniel Gookin, 
Sen., 369; William Stoughton, 369; Elisha Hutchinson, 369; ElishaCooke, 
369; Samuel Nowell, 371 ; James II., 380; Edward Rawson, 381, 


ILLUSTRATIONS : Order, Feb. 10, 1634, establishing Board of Selectmen, helictyfe, 
388; Order, Oct. 13, 1634, relating to lands, &c., heliotype, 388 ; the Training- 
Field, 392 ; John Harvard's Monument, 395, 

AUTOGRAPHS: The Squaw-Sachem's mark, 383; John Greene, 384; Richard 
Sprague, 384; Thomas Walford's mark, 384 ; Thomas Graves, surveyor, 
385; Walter Palmer, 386; Thomas Coitmore, 388; Thomas Lynde, 389; 
Samuel Adams, 389; Thomas Graves, the admiral, 389; Edward Burt, 389; 
James Gary, 390; John Newell, 390; Abraham Palmer, 391 ; John Edes, 
392 ; Edward Converse, 393 ; Robert Long, 393 ; Increase Nowell, 394 ; 
Zechariah Symmes, 394 ; Thomas Goold, 396 ; Thomas Shepard, 396 ; John 
Greene, 396; John Morley, 397; Ezekiel Cheever, 397 ; Samuel Phipps, 397; 
Lawrence Hammond, 399; Richard Sprague, the younger, 399; Robert 
Sedgwick, 399; Francis Norton, 399; Francis Willoughby, 399; Richard 
Russell, 399. 

ROXBURY IN THE COLONIAL PERIOD. Francis S. Drake ........ 401 

ILLUSTRATIONS : William Pynchon, 404 ; the Curtis Homestead, 406 ; John 
Eliot's Chair, 415; Certificate signed by John Eliot and Samuel Danforth, 

AUTOGRAPHS: William Pyncheon, 404; John Eliot, 414 ; Thomas Dudley, 417. 



ILLUSTRATIONS: Pierce House, 431; Minot House, 432; Blake House, 433; 
Tolman House, 434 ; Bridgham House, 435 ; Richard Mather, 437, 

AUTOGRAPHS : Roger Clap, 428 ; Humphrey Atherton, 428; James Parker, 428 ; 
Richard Mather, 438 ; George Minot, 438 ; Henry Withington, 438. 




Mellen Chamberlain 445 

ILLUSTRATIONS: Deane Winthrop House, 447; Yeaman House, 448; Floyd 
Mansion, 450. 

AUTOGRAPHS : Proprietors (Robert Keayne, John Cogan, John Newgate, James 
Penn, Samuel Cole, George Burden), 451. 


ILLUSTRATIONS : Title of first book printed in Boston, 457 ; Memorandum of 
Richard Mather, 458 ; Stanza signed by Benjamin Tompson, 460, 

AUTOGRAPHS: Jose Glover, 455; Stephen Daye, 455; Henry Dunster, 456; 
Samuel Green, 456; Marmaduke Johnson, 456; John Foster, 456; Richard 
Mather, 458 ; Thomas Weld, 458 ; Anne Bradstreet, 461 ; Michael Wiggles- 
worth, 461 ; Thomas Shepard, 462 ; Edward Johnson, 463. 

THE INDIAN TONGUE AND ITS LITERATURE. J. Hammond Trumbull . . . 465 

ILLUSTRATIONS : Title to the Indian Bible, 469; the Massachusetts Psalter, 476; 
the Indian Primer, 478. 

AUTOGRAPHS: John Cotton the younger, 470; James Printer, 477, 


ILLUSTRATIONS: Bill of Lading (1632), 490; Adam Winthrop's Pot, 491; the 
Stocks, 506; the Pillory, 507; Rebecca Rawson, 519. 

AUTOGRAPHS: Samuel Cole, 493; George Monck, 494; Nehemiah Bourne, 498; 
Hezekiah Usher, 500; John Usher, 500; John Dunton, 500; Samuel Fuller, 


ILLUSTRATIONS : Wood's Map of Boston and Vicinity (1634), 524 ; the Tramount, 
525; section of Bonner's Map (1722), 526; Plan of the Summit of Beacon 
Hill, 527 ; West Hill in 1775, 528; the Old Feather Store, 547; Old House 
in Salem Street, 551. 


BOSTON FAMILIES PRIOR TO 1700. William H. Whitmore 557 

ILLUSTRATIONS : Isaac Addington, 576 ; Mrs. Jane Addington, 577 ; Simeon 
Stoddard, 583 ; Colonel Samuel Shrimpton, 584 ; Mrs. Shrimpton, 585 ; 
Increase Mather, 587. 

AUTOGRAPHS : Isaac Addington, 575; Penn Townsend, 575 ; Humphrey Davie, 
578 ; Edward Hutchinson, 579 ; Peter Oliver, 580 ; Thomas Brattle, 580 ; 
Edward Tyng, 581; Anthony Stoddard, 583; Samuel Shrimpton, 584; 
Peter Sergeant, 585 ; Increase Mather, 587 ; Crescentius Matherus, 587. 

INDEX 589 


"\ T 7 HEN, in 1730, a hundred years had passed from the foundation 
* * of the town, a commemoration was proposed ; but the community 
was then suffering under a visitation of the small-pox, and the anniversary 
was not observed, except by one or two pulpit ministrations. The Rev. 
Mr. Foxcroft preached a century sermon 1 at the First Church, and Thomas 
Prince, in the previous May, made the annual election sermon 2 an admoni- 
tion of the event. A fit celebration, however, took place on the second 
centennial, in 1830, and Josiah Quincy who, after he had left the chief 
magistracy of the city, had taken the presidency of the neighboring uni- 
versity was selected to deliver an address in the Old South, and Charles 
Sprague, who had shown his powers on more than one earlier occasion, 
read the ode, 3 which is preserved in the volume of his Writings. The 
address was printed, and in some sort it became the basis of The Municipal 
History of Boston which Mr. Quincy printed in 1852. This volume gives 
a full exposition of the city's history after the town obtained a charter, and 
during the administrations of the first and second mayors (Phillips and 
Quincy) ; but it contains only a cursory sketch of the earlier chronicles. 4 
This part of its story, however, had already been but recently told. 

As early as 1794 Thomas Pemberton printed A Topographical and 


Historical Description of Boston? A limit of sixty pages, however, could 
afford only a glimpse of the town's history. It nevertheless formed the 
basis upon which Charles Shaw worked, as shown in his little duodecimo 

1 Ohservations, Historical and Practical, on 8 A fac-simile of a part of this ode is given 

the Rise and Primitive State of A r ew England, on p. 246. 

with a special reference to the old or first gathered 4 Edmund Quincy, Life of Josiah Quincy, 

Church in Boston. pp. 444, 501. 

- The People of New England put in mind 5 Mass. Hist. Coll., iii. 241-304. There are 

of the Righteous Acts of the Lord to them and manuscripts of Pemberton's in the Society's 

their Fathers. Cabinet. 


of 31 1 pages which he published in 1817* under the same title, A Topo- 
graphical and Historical Description of Boston. In 1821 Mr. J. G. Hales, 
to whom we owe the most important map of Boston issued in his day, 
published a little descriptive Survey of Boston and Vicinity. Four years 
later, in 1825, Dr. Caleb Hopkins Snow printed his History of Boston, to 
which an appendix was subsequently added, and in 1828 what is called a 
second edition seems to have been merely a reissue of the same sheets 
with a new title 2 and index, to satisfy the interest, perhaps, arising from 
the approaching centennial. Snow's labor was creditable, and his examina- 
tion of the records in regard to the sites of the early settlers' habitations 
and other landmarks was careful enough to make his work still useful. 3 
The next year, 1829, Bowen, its publisher, issued his own Picture of Bos- 
ton? which proved the precursor of numerous guide-books. 5 In 1848 
Nathaniel Dearborn printed his Boston Notions, a medley of statistics and 
historical descriptions; and in the same year, 1852, in which Quincy's J\Iun- 
icipal History, already mentioned, appeared, Samuel G. Drake began the 
publication of his History and Antiquities of Boston, which was issued at 
intervals in parts, till the annals for this was the form it took were 
brought down to 1770, when the publication ceased, in i856. 6 No further 
special contribution of any importance 1 appeared till the late Dr. Nathaniel 
Bradstreet Shurtleff published, under sanction of the city, during his mayor- 
alty, A Topographical and Historical Description of Boston. The volume is 
principally made up of papers previously published, chiefly in the Boston 
Saturday Evening Gazette, which had been amended and enlarged. They 
relate to various topographical features of the town and harbor, forming 
a collection of valuable monographs, but in no wise covering even that re- 
stricted field. Two years later, in 1873, Mr. Samuel Adams Drake, a son 
of the elder annalist, printed an interesting volume, The Old Landmarks 
and Historic Personages of Boston, in which the reader is taken a course 
through the city, while the old sites are pointed out to him, and he is 

1 Reprinted in 1818 and 1843. American Review, vol. Ixxxiii., by William H. 

2 A History of Boston, the Metropolis of Mas- Whitmore. Lucius Manlius Sargent printed a 
saf/iusf Its, front Us Origin to the Present Period, little tract, Notices of Histories of Boston, in 1857. 
with some account of the Environs. Boston : A. The City Government had taken steps to print 
Bowen. 1828. a continuation of Drake, when his death put a 

8 Dr. Snow also published, in 1830, a Geog- stop to the project. 

raphy of Boston, with Historical Notes, for the 7 There was a small History of Boston, by J. 

younger class of readers. He died in 1835, at S. Homans, published in 1856, and an anony- 

less than forty years of age. mous Historical Sketch in 1861, beside others of 

4 Other editions in 1833 and 1838. even less interest. The account of Boston in 

5 Among them may be classed Boston Sights, the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Brilnnniiu 
by David Pulsifer, 1859. is by the Rev. G. E. Ellis, D.D. A Boston 

6 An examination of it was made in the North Antiquarian Club has recently been founded. 


edified with the story of their associations. This is the last acquisition 
to the illustrative literature of Boston, apart from the numerous guide- 
books which have filled from time to time their temporary mission. 

The outlying districts of Boston have each had their historians. A large 
History of East Boston, with Biographical Sketches of its early Proprietors 
was printed by the late General William H. Sumner in 1858, the author 
being a descendant of the Shrimptons and other early occupants and pro- 
prietors of the island. A History of South Boston, by Thomas C. Simonds, 
was published in 1857. General H. A. S. Dearborn delivered a second cen- 
tennial address at Roxbury in 1830. Mr. C. M. Ellis issued a History of Rox- 
bury Town in 1847. Mr. Francis S. Drake, another son of the annalist, did 
for Roxbury much the same service that his brother had done for the orig- 
inal Boston, when The Town of Roxbury, its Memorable Persons and Places, 
appeared in 1878. For Dorchester, there is the History published by the 
Dorchester Historical and Antiquarian Society, and other publications 
bearing their approval, which are enumerated in another part of the present 
volume. 1 Of Brighton there is no distinct history ; but a sketch prepared 
by the Rev. Frederic A. Whitney forms part of the recently published His- 
tory of Middlesex County, which contains also a brief sketch of Charles- 
town. This is based in good part, as all accounts of that town must be for 
the period ending with the Revolution, on the History of Charlestown, by 
Richard Frothingham, the publication of which was begun in numbers in 
1845 and never finished, seven numbers only being published. A very 
elaborate work, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown by Thomas 
Bellows Wyman, the result of nearly forty years' application to the subject, 
was published in 1879, the year following the author's death, the editing of 
it having been completed by Mr. Henry H. Edes. Mention should also be 
made of the earlier Historical Sketch by Dr. Bartlett, 1814, and Mr. Everett's 
commemoration of the second centennial in i83O. 2 Those regions, no longer 
within the limits of Boston but once a part of the town, have also their 
special records. Muddy River, now Brookline, has had its history set forth 
in several discourses by the late venerable Dr. Pierce, in an address by the 
Hon. R. C. Winthrop, and in the more formal Historical Sketches by H. F. 
Woods. The Records of Muddy River, extracted in part from the Boston 
Records, have also been printed by the town. Mount Wollaston, or " The 
Mount " as it was usually called when the people of Boston had their farms 
there, has recently given occasion to an elaborate History of Old Brain tree 

1 The church history of Dorchester has been 2 The church history of Charlestown has 
specially commemorated by Harris, Pierce, Cod- been particularly elucidated by Budington, 
man, Hall, Allen, Means, and Barrows. Ellis, Hunnewell, and Edes. 


and Quincy, by William S. Pattee, 1878, while there have been earlier con- 
tributions by Hancock, Lunt, Storrs, Whitney, and Adams. Of Pullen 
Point and Winnissimet there have been no formal records printed. 

As full a list as has ever been printed of the great variety of local 
publications which must contribute to the completeness of the history of 
Boston has been given by Mr. Frederic B. Perkins, in his Check-list of 
American Local History, 1876, many of which titles, of particular applica- 
tion, will be referred to in the foot-notes and editorial annotations through- 
out these volumes. 

Chief among such are the numerous discourses and other monographs 
which have been given to the history of the churches of Boston. 1 Their 
history has also been made a part of such general accounts of the progress 
of religious belief in New England as Felt's Ecclesiastical History. This is 
in the form of annals; and John Eliot's " Ecclesiastical History of Plymouth 
and Massachusetts," as begun in the Mass. Hist. Collections, vii., has a similar 
scope. In this place it would be unpardonable to overlook one or two chap- 
ters of the elaborate treatises of the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Dexter on Con- 
gregationalism as seen in its Literature?' Boston formed so considerable a 
part of the colony, and the theocracy which ruled its people influenced 
so largely their history, that it is not easy to separate wholly the local from 
the general, and it certainly was not done by the earlier writers. Win- 
throp's Journal, which is called, however, in the printed book, a History 
of New England, tells us more than we get elsewhere of the course of 
events in Boston for nearly twenty years after the settlement. 3 This can 

1 The principal of these are here enumerated : 1877. Trinity, Brooks. Smith Congregational, 

On the First Church, Foxcroft, 1730 ; Emerson, Hale. Twelfth Congregational, Barrett, 1850 ; 

1812; N. L. Frothingham, 1830, 1850; Rufus Pray, 1863. Park Street, Semi-centennial, 

Ellis, 1868, 1869, 1873. Second, or Old North, 1861. Bulfinch Street, Alger, 1861. First 

Ware, 1821; Robbins, 1844, 1845, 1850, 1852, Universalist, Silloway, 1864. New South, 

1858. Third, or Old South, Austin, 1803; Ellis, 1865. Church of the Advent, Bolles, 

Wisner, 1830; Armstrong, 1841 ; Blagden, 1870; 1860, &c. Coggeshall's discourse on the intro- 

and Manning; a history of the meeting-house by duction of Methodism into Boston. Cf. articles 

Burdett, 1877. New North, Eliot, 1804, 1822; in the Amer. Quarterly Register, vii., and Boston 

Parkman, 1814, 1839, 1843, 1849; Fuller, 1854. Almanac, 1843 and 1854. 

Manifesto, or Brattle Square, Church, Thacher, 2 The Congregationalism of the last three hun- 

1800; Palfrey, 1825; Lothrop, 1851, 1871. dred years as seen in its Literature, New York, 

Kings Chapel, Greenwood, 1833; Foote, 1873. 1880. In an appendix there is a bibliography 

Christ Church, Eaton, 1820, 1824; Burroughs, of the subject, giving 7,250 titles, arranged 

1874. First Baptist, Neale, 1865. West Church, chronologically, a most valuable contribution, 

Lowell, 1820, 1831, 1845; Bartol, 1867, 1877. showing most of the books one must consult 
Federal and Arlington Street, Davis, 1824 ; on the early history of Boston. 

Gannett, 1860, 1864; the lives of Channing and 3 It was first printed in Hartford in 1790, 

Gannett. Essex Street Church, Sabine, 1823, from a copy collated with the original but in- 

and the memorial volume, 1860. Second Baptist, complete, as the third volume of the manuscript 

Baldwin, 1824, 1841. Hollis Street, Chancy, was not then known to be in existence, though 



best be supplemented by the convenient group of contemporary writings 
which the Rev. Alexander Young, D.D., gathered in his Chronicles of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay, 1623-36, and by a part of the documents which Hazard 
printed in his Historical Collections, and Hutchinson published in 1769 in 
his Collection ' of Original Papers^ to fortify his history. Of the early 
accounts by Wood, Lechford, Johnson, Josselyn, and others, and of such 
diaries as Hull's and Sewall's, mention is elsewhere made. Although some 
of these were in print when Hubbard wrote his History of New England, 
it was from the manuscript of Winthrop's Journal that this old historian 
filched pretty much all that was valuable in his narrative; and for the 
thirty years that he continued it beyond Winthrop's death, Dr. Palfrey, 
following Hutchinson's judgment, calls his book "good for nothing," 
a decision, perhaps, too denunciatory. Every historical student, however, 
recognizes the great importance of Hubbard for the period before Win- 
throp took up the story, and for which Hubbard must have had material 
at first hand. 2 Before the printing of Winthrop, Hubbard was looked upon 
as an original authority, but the recovery of his preface shows that he 
urged no claims but those of a compiler of " the original manuscripts of 
such as had the managing of those affairs," &c. 

First among the books whose authors were indebted to Hubbard comes 

Prince is supposed to have had the three volumes 
in his keeping in 1754, and to have used them in 
his Chronology. This third volume, covering 
the last four years of Winthrop's life, was dis- 
covered among the Prince manuscripts about 
1815, and was shortly after surrendered to the 
Winthrop family, in whose custody the other 
volumes were. Savage used it, however, in 
preparing his valuable edition of the entire 
manuscript (cf. Mr. Hillard's " Memoir of Sav- 
age," in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1878, 
p. 135) ; but while the volumes were in his 
hands, the fire occurred in Court Street in 1825, 
in which the second volume was burned. The 
first and third volumes are now in the cabinet of 
the Historical Society. See their Proceedings, 
June, 1872. The original letters of Winthrop 
and others, which Mr. Savage printed in his ap- 
pendix, have recently become the property of 
the same Society. These and other letters and 
papers of the early Winthrops, brought to light 
of late years, and printed in the Society's Collec- 
tions, as noted elsewhere, were used in the Hon. 
R. C. Winthrop's Life and Letters of John ITi/i- 
throp, which, with the papers, have been the 
subject of numerous reviews : No. Amer. AVz'., 
January, 1864, and January and October, 1867 ; 
VOL. I. C. 

Atlantic Monthly, January, 1864, and February, 
1867; ffar/>er'sM0ntAfy,November, 1876; Black- 
wood's Magazine, August, 1867 > Annual Register, 
1867 ; Rwue Britannique, &c. Additional refer- 
ences are given in Allibone's Dictionary. 

1 This was reprinted by the Prince Society in 
1865, under the care of W. H- Whitmore and 
W. S. Appleton. Other papers of Hutchinson 
are printed in 2 Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. x., and third 
series, vol. i. The Proceedings, February, 1868, 
and January, 1874, of the Society contain ac- 
counts of the controversy which preceded the 
transfer of these papers to the State Archives. 
Cf. also, ibid. ii. 438. 

2 It was not printed till 1815, and again in 1848, 
in 2 Mass. Hist. Coll. v. and vi. Savage, Winthrop, 
i- 357- The Historical Society has the rough 
draft and the corrected copy of Hubbard's man- 
uscript, and has recently printed some opening 
and concluding pages of it, which had long been 
missing, until procured from England by Dr. F. 
E. Oliver. It would seem that the Society's 
copy, when perfect, had been copied by Judge 
Peter Oliver, and it is from his transcript that 
the text is completed. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 
August, 1814, and February, 1878. Sibley, Har- 
vard Graduates, p. 56. 



Cotton Mather's Magnalia Christi Americana: The first book of the New- 
English History, reporting tlie Design wJicrcon, tlte Manner wherein, and the 
People whereby, the several colonies of New England were planted. This 
book is an anomaly, even in those times of anomalous books. It was pub- 
lished in London in 1702, in a huge folio, but the introduction bears 
date Oct. 16, 1697. While there is much that is valuable in its hetero- 
geneous contents, there is not a little that is absurd and irrelevant. It 
is largely made up of earlier separate publications of its author, 1 and 
gives us the chief accounts we have of the lives of several of the Boston 
ministers, Cotton, Wilson, Norton, Davenport, and others. 

Next, there is a similar acknowledgment to Hubbard due from Thomas 
Prince, the pastor of the Old South, for the use he made of him in his 
Chronological History of New England? This work, as published, ex- 
tends only over the earliest years of Boston's history, not going beyond 
1633, as the author, seeking a start, began with the Flood. In his pre- 
face he enumerates the manuscripts he had used, and his paragraphs are 
credited to their sources. 

1 It has since been reprinted in this country, 
in 1820 and in 1853. Mr. Deane has indicated 
the light thrown upon it by Mather's diary in 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., December, 1862. Cf. Mr. 
"Winthrop's apt characterization of the book in 
his lecture of the Lowell Institute course, p. 21. 
Dunton, the London bookseller who came to 
Boston, says of Mather and his book : " His 
library is very large and numerous, but had his 
books been fewer when he writ his history, 
't would have pleased us better ; " and again he 
speaks of Mather's library as "the glory of New 
England, if not of all America. I am sure 
it was the best sight that I had in Boston." 
Some part of this library, as is well known, is 
now in the possession of the American Anti- 
quarian Society at Worcester, and fragments of 
it even to this day occasionally find their way 
into public sales or dealer's catalogues. The 
Mather manuscripts in the library of that Soci- 
ety are described in their Proceedings, April 30, 
1873, p. 22. The papers known as the Mather 
manuscripts, belonging to the Prince Library, 
have been fully calendared in the catalogue of 
that library, and' the best part of them printed 
in 4 Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. Some part of the 
diaries of Increase and Cotton Mather are pre- 
served in the Historical Society's cabinet. 
Proceedings, March, 1858, and April, 1868. Other 
portions are in the library of the American 
Antiquarian Society at Worcester. It does 

not seem likely that they will be printed until 
men are better pleased with confessions of short- 
comings and with the display of self-debase- 
ment. Drake, in his introduction to Increase 
Mather's History of Philip' } s War, speaks of the 
Mather library as the product of the care of four 
generations, and refers to some letters of Sam- 
uel Mather, D.D., the last of the four, which 
were a part of a MS. volume afterwards noted 
in the Brinley Catalogue, No. 1,329. Accepting 
the statements of these letters, it appears that 
Samuel Mather furnished Hutchinson "with 
most of the material of which his history was 
composed." His son says of the library, that it 
was "by far the most valuable part of the family 
property. In consisted of 7,000 or 8,000 volumes 
of the most curious and chosen authors, and a 
prodigious number of valuable manuscripts, 
which had been collected by my ancestors for 
five generations." A considerable portion, if 
not the whole, of Increase Mather's library is 
said to have been burned in the destruction 
of Charlestown in 1775. 

2 The first volume was published in 1736, 
and a second volume was begun in 1755, of 
which only three serial numbers were issued 
before the author's death. The completed vol- 
ume is not a scarce book, but the subsequent 
parts had become so rare that it was deemed 
desirable to reprint them in 2 Mass. Hist. 
Coll. vii. 


Great value must confessedly be put upon Governor Hutchinson's His- 
tory of Massachusetts Bay. No one before his day, and perhaps no one 
since, has had reflected on him more credit as a local historian. His first 
volume was published in 1764, and was the subject of a correspondence, 
preserved to us, 1 between the author and Dr. Stiles. His second volume 
was nearly ready for the press when his house was sacked by a mob, Aug. 
26, 1765. He left the manuscript to its fate, as he bore off a daughter from 
their fury; thrown into the street, it was saved by the interposition of the 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Eliot, and was not so much injured but that the author 
readily repaired the loss: it was printed in 1767, bringing the story down to 
1749. A third volume detailing events preceding the Revolution with a 
surprising fairness when we consider the treatment he had received, and of 
course without sympathy for the patriot cause was not published till 
long after its author's death (1780), when a grandson, at the instigation of 
some Boston gentlemen, gave it to the world in i828. 2 

It is not worth while to enumerate here a long list of histories, all more 
or less general as regards our State and country, but all throwing light in 
considerable sections upon our own Boston history, and which the eager 
student of her fameful annals will not neglect, the histories of New 
England by Neal, Backus, Palfrey (hardly to be surpassed), and Elliott; 
those of Massachusetts by Barry (the completest), Minot, and Bradford, 
not to mention other works. Of the foreign writers, who in days not recent 
have visited Boston and left accounts of the town, there are enumerations 
in Shurtleff's Description of Boston, and in Henry T. Tuckerman's America 
and her Commentators, with extracts from such narratives. 

The Commonwealth has done its work nobly in causing the printing 
of those early records, 3 to which the historian of Boston must constantly 
resort. In our State House, too, are tier upon tier of volumes, labelled 
" Massachusetts Archives," so arranged, indeed, in an attempted classifi- 
cation, 4 that it is irksome and unsatisfactory to consult them. They are 
rich, however, to the patient inquirer in the evidences of Boston's power 
and significance in our colonial history. The city has, fortunately, estab- 

1 N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Keg., April, 1872. 8 Records of Mass. Bay, 1628-86, edited by 

2 Charles Deane has traced the bibliography N. B. Shurtleff, Boston, 1855-57, in six volumes, 
of Hutchinson's historical writings in the Hist. The transcription for the printer was made by 
Mag. \. 97, or with revision in the Mass. Hist. David Pulsifer. Cf. Mass. Hist. Soc., Lowell 
Sac. Proc., February, 1857. Hutchinson, in his Lectures, p. 230. 

preface, speaks of his efforts to save records and 4 Set forth in N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., 

papers from destruction, and of their repeated 1848, p. 105. See Dr. Palfrey's condemnation 

loss by fire ; and in the preface of his second vol- of it in the preface to his New England, iii. 

ume he recounts his own losses by the riot. p. vii. 


lished of late years a Record Commission. Under the supervision of the 
gentlemen who have thus far constituted it, Messrs. William S. Appleton 
and William H. Whitmore, three reports have been printed. The first 
consists of various lists of early inhabitants, and the second, third, and 
fourth are mentioned below. 

Of the records and papers in the office of the City Clerk, the following 
statement is furnished by SAMUEL F. McCLEARY, Esq., the present clerk: 

The Town Records, 1634 to 1821, in ten volumes. Also a copy on paper of 
vol. i. (1634-60), by Charles Shaw, made in 1814. Also a copy on parchment of 
vol. i., and fully indexed, made by S. B. Morse, Jr., in 1855. [This first volume is 
now in print in the Second Report of the Record Commissioners^ 

The City Records, 1 from 1822 to 1867, in forty-five volumes; from 1868 to 1880, 
in twenty-six volumes, two for each year. 

The Original Papers forming the foundation of the Town and City Records, from 
163410 1880. [Those from 1634 to 1734 (1716 missing) are bound in two vol- 
umes ; the rest are in files.] 

The Book of Possessions, being the original entries of the earliest recorded division 
of land within the town, written about 1643-44, in one volume. Also a copy made on 
parchment in 1855 by S. B. Morse, Jr., in one volume. [The volume is now in print 
in the Second Report of the Record Commissioners. Its probable date is discussed 
elsewhere in this history.] 

Minutes of Meetings of the Selectmen, 1701-1822, inclusive, in twenty-four 
volumes. Selectmen's Memoranda, being the original entries from which the above 
"minutes" were made up, 1732 to 1821, in ninety-four memorandum books. 

Record of names of the inhabitants of the town in 1695, m one volume. Records 
of strangers not inhabitants of the town ; also of bonds furnished by sundry persons 
as sureties that certain other persons therein named shall not become a charge to the 
town, 1679-1700, in one volume. 

Permits to build with timber in the year 1707. Account books of the town and 
records of the committee on finance, 1739 to 1821. Records of committee on 
rebuilding after the great fire of 1 760. Subscriptions for sufferers by the great fire of 
1 794. Lists of persons who arrived by sea during the years 1 763-69. Memorandum 
book of selectmen for the year 1772. 

List of donations to the town of Boston from all parts of the country, north and 
south, at the time of the enforcement of the Boston Port Bill in 1 7 74. Records of 
the donation committee of the town in 1774. Lists of persons aided in the several 
wards by gifts of food or money, in eighteen memorandum books, for the years 
1774-75. Cash-book of donation committee for 1774-75. 

The shoemakers' book, 1774. Spinning and knitting-book, 1774. Brickmakers' 
book, 1774. Wood-account book, 1774. "Departing money" receipt-book, 1774. 
Petty ledger of donation committee, 1 7 74. 

1 There is a printed index of city documents, 1834-74, compiled by J. M. l.ugbee. 


Records of Committee of Safety, after the evacuation of Boston by the British 
troops, 1776. 

Then, of the records of adjacent towns, now a part of the metropolis by 
annexation, there are the following; and for the enumeration I am indebted 
to JOHN T. PRIEST, Esq., the Assistant City Clerk : 

Charlestown. Town Records, 1629-1847, in fourteen volumes. Selectmen's Re- 
cords, 1843-47, in one volume ; previous to 1843 these records were kept in the Town 
Records. Mayor and Aldermen's Records, 1847-73, m ten volumes. Common Coun- 
cil Records, 1847-73, i n seven volumes. [These and other records and papers have 
been rearranged by Mr. Henry H. Edes, acting under orders of the city of Charles- 
town, 1869 and 1870. See Third Report of the Record Commissioners, where the 
"Book of Possessions," 1638-1802, is printed in full. One of the other volumes in 
this series is " An estimate of the losses of the inhabitants by the burning of the town, 
June 17, 1775." The volumes so far arranged make sixty-nine in number, and the 
papers yet to be arranged, few of which are earlier than 1720, will fill fifty or sixty 
volumes more.] 

Roxbury. Town Records, 1648-1846, in six volumes [the records were burned 
in 1645, and of those remaining there are but few before 1652. Ellis, Roxbury, p. 7 ; 
Drake, Roxbury, p. 260]. Selectmen's Records, 1783-1846, in four volumes; pre- 
vious to 1783 these records were kept in the Town Records. Mayor and Aldermen's 
Records, 1846-67, in seven volumes, 1652-54. [The " Ancient Transcript," so-called, 
is the Roxbury Book of Possessions, and was made about 1652-54. It has been 
copied for the Record Commissioners and will be printed] . 

West Roxbury. Town Records, 185 1-73, in two volumes. Selectmen's Records, 
1851-73, in two volumes. 

Dorchester. Town Records, Jan. 16, 1633-1869, in twelve volumes. [These 
are the oldest original records in the office ; a portion of the first volume will consti- 
tute the Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners^. Selectmen's Records, 1855-69, 
in two volumes ; previous to 1855 these records were kept in the Town Records. 

Brighton. Town Records, 1807-73, in five volumes; the first volume contains 
the records of the " Third Precinct of Cambridge on the South side of Charles River," 
beginning in 1772. Selectmen's Records, 1807-73, m f ur volumes. 

The following statement of the records in the keeping of the City Regis- 
trar has been kindly furnished from that office : 

Boston. Births, Marriages, and Deaths (County Records), 1630-60, in one 
volume, with a transcription made in 1856: Births, 1644-1744 (complete, over 
20,000), in one volume, with a transcription made in 1874 ; 1726-1814 (imperfect), 
in one volume; 1800-49 (imperfect), in one volume; 1849-79 (complete), in six- 
teen volumes. Marriages, 1651-1879, in twenty-seven volumes, with a gap from 
1662 to 1689 ; marriages out of the city, but recorded here, in one volume. Deaths, 


1800-79 (complete from 1810), in twenty-one volumes ; of persons buried here but 
who died elsewhere, in one volume. 

Charlestown. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1629-1843, in two volumes, 
including marriages out of town before 1800, and indexes : Births, 1843-73, m tnree 
volumes. Marriages, 1843-73, in three volumes. Deaths, 1843-73, in three volumes. 
Indexes, 1843-73, m three volumes. 

Roxbury. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1632-1849, in three volumes: Births, 
1843-68, in four volumes. Marriages, 1632-1868, in four volumes ; marriages out of 
the city but recorded here, in one volume. Deaths, 1633-1868, in three volumes. 

Dorchester. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1631-1849, in four volumes : Births, 
1850-69, in one volume. Marriages, 1850-69, in two volumes. Deaths, 1850-69, 
in one volume. 

Brighton. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1771-1873, in one volume. 

West Roxbury. Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1851-73, in one volume. 

Intentions of Marriages: Boston, 1707-1879, in thirty-five volumes; Charles- 
town, 1725-1873, in five volumes, with an index volume; Roxbury, 1785-1868, in 
two volumes; Dorchester, 1798-1869, in two volumes. 

The editor has endeavored in the map which accompanies this volume, 
called " Boston, Old and New," to depict, as well as he could, the physical 
characteristics of the original peninsula, with the highways and footways of 
the young town for its first thirty years or more, and to indicate a few of 
the sites most interesting in its early history. His chief dependence has 
been the first volume of the " Boston Town Records " and the " Book of 
Possessions," both of which are now in print in the Second Report of the 
Record Commissioners. The earliest published maps of the town were not 
made till eighty or ninety years after the settlement, and after the original 
water-line had been much obscured by the " wharfing-out " process, which 
began, so far as the records indicate, in 1634. Ever after that date the town 
records show that frequent permission was given to wharf out along the front 
of riparian lots. Still, some help has been derived from Bonner's map of 
1722, Burgiss's of 1728, and even from later published surveys. More than 
one attempt has been made to construct a map of Boston as it was about the 
middle of the seventeenth century, but none has heretofore been published. 
Mr. Uriel H. Crocker was led to the study of the subject from his professional 
calls as a conveyancer, and constructed a map of the lots in the town, which he 
explained by extracts from the records in an accompanying volume. These 
he very kindly placed at the editor's service, and they have been of frequent 
assistance. So has a similar plan on a much larger scale, which was made by 
Mr. George Lamb of Cambridge, and which is now in the Public Library. 
Of this latter plan a lithographed fac-simile of full size has been made, 



under the direction of the Trustees of the Library. If there are other plans 
existing based on the same sources, they have not come to the editor's 
knowledge, except a sketch of streets and estates, indorsed " William 
Appleton, 1866," a copy of which is in the Historical Society's Collec- 
tion. Any one working up this subject can but derive great assistance, 
in tracing the bounds of estates and placing the original habitations, from 
the " Gleaner " articles of the late Mr. N. I. Bowditch, which were pub- 
lished in the Boston Transcript in 1855-56, and which are to be republished 
in the near future. They are the key to the greater store of information 
preserved in Mr. Bowditch's manuscripts. Not a few hints and corrobora- 
tive statements which have also been of assistance were found in Snow, 
Drake, and Shurtleff. 1 

1 The modern map used as a background is 
a reduced section of a large one recently pub- 
lished by the Boston Map Company; but it has 
been found necessary to modify a little the 
"original shore-line," as indicated by its com- 
pilers, George F. Loring and Irwin C. Cromack, 
surveyors and draughtsmen in the City Sur- 


veyor's office. The stones of the last previous 
authentic map of Boston were destroyed in the 
fire of 1872, and no satisfactory representation 
of the recent changes in the streets had been 
given till the issue of this map. The present re- 
duction of it has been made by the proprietor's 
kind permission. 


SAMUEL SHATTOCK, or SHATTUCK, of Salem, a Quaker, had been whipped in 1657 
for interfering while another Quaker was gagged. He was subsequently banished 
under the law, which provided whipping for a first and second offence (branding 
was later included), and finally banishment on pain of death. The Quakers in 
London, whither Shattuck had gone, gaining the ear of the King, procured a royal 
order, addressed to the authorities here, commanding them to send to England for 
trial all Quakers detained for punishment. Shattuck was selected to take the mandate 
to Boston, and a ship was procured, of which another Quaker, Ralph Goldsmith, was 
commander. Upon their arrival in the harbor, Shattuck, with not a little of the 
'dramatic instinct which directed many of the proceedings of the early Quakers, 
refused to tell to those who boarded the ship the object of the voyage. On the 
second day after their arrival, accompanied by Goldsmith, he proceeded through 
the town, knocked at Governor Endicott's door, and sent word to him that they bore 
a message from the King. The interview followed, as told in the poem ; but the 
Governor's determination was not reached till he had gone out and consulted with 
the Deputy-Governor, Bellingham. The release from jail was tardily ordered, and 
happily at last there were no Quakers in detention . to be sent to England ; and 
none were sent. The persecution had nearly run its course, and the royal mandate 
proved a happy escape from the dilemma of positive enactments in contravention 
of previous orders. It is sad to say, however, that though the beginning of the end 
was come, there were still some whippings at the cart's tail through the streets of 
Boston before the persecution was over. 

The poet, with a fair license, has placed the interview in the Town House, that 
picturesque structure, which stood where now the old State House stands, and which 
was then but newly built, partly with the bequest of Captain Robert Keayne, who had 
lived opposite on the southerly corner of State and Washington streets. The artist 
has delineated it according to the descriptions we have of it, the building standing 
on pillars, while a market was kept beneath. The view down what is now State Street 
shows the tide, as was then the case, flowing up to Merchants Row. 

Of the prison we have no description, other than that it was surrounded by a yard. 
It stood where the Court House now stands, on Court Street. The artist has given 
in the procession of the Quakers across the Common as good a delineation of the 
spot at that time as the records afford us, the rounded summit of Gentry Hill, with 
the beacon on it, which finally gave it a name, and which was seventy feet or more 
higher than now ; the slope, broken in places by rocks (Sewall records getting build- 
ing-stones from the Common, at a later day) ; the elm, known in our day as the Great 
Elm, but even then very likely a sightly tree, and near which the executions, probably 
on one of the knolls, took place. The victims we know were buried close by. 

Snow Hill, as Copp's Hill was then called, projected into the river much as the 
artist has drawn it, topped by the principal windmill of the town. Just by a little 
cove stood the house which William Copp, the cobbler, had built there, and near by 
was the water-mill, which, with the causeway across the marsh, forming the dam, had 
been built some years previous. ED. 



T TNDER the great hill sloping bare 

To cove and meadow and Common lot, 
In his council chamber and oaken chair 

Sat the worshipful Governor Endicott, 
A grave, strong man, who knew no peer 
In the pilgrim land where he ruled in fear 
Of God, not man, and for good or ill 
Held his trust with an iron will. 

He had shorn with his sword the cross from out 


The flag, and cloven the May-pole down, 
Harried the heathen round about, 

And whipped the Quakers from town to town. 
Earnest and honest, a man at need 
To burn like a torch for his own harsh creed, 
He kept with the flaming brand of his zeal 
The gate of the holy commonweal. 

His brow was clouded, his eye was stern, 

With a look of mingled sorrow and wrath : 
" Woe 's me ! " he murmured, " at every turn 
The pestilent Quakers are in my path ! 

Some we have scourged, and banished some, 

Some hanged, more doomed, and still they come, 

Fast as the tide of yon bay sets in, 

Sowing their heresy's seed of sin. 

VOL. !. D. 


" Did we count on this ? Did we leave behind 
The graves of our kin, the comfort and ease 
Of our English hearths and homes, to find 

Troublers of Israel such as these ? 
Shall I spare ? Shall I pity them ? God forbid 
I will do as the prophet to Agag did : 
They come to poison the wells of the word, 
I will hew them in pieces before the Lord ! " 

The door swung open, and Rawson the Clerk 

Entered and whispered underbreath : 
" There waits below for the hangman's work 

A fellow banished on pain of death, 
Shattuck of Salem, unhealed of the whip, 
Brought over in Master Goldsmith's ship, 
At anchor here in a Christian port 
With freight of the Devil and all his sort ! " 

Twice and thrice on his chamber floor 

Striding fiercely from wall to wall, 
" The Lord do so to me and more," 

The Governor cried, " if I hang not all ! 
Bring hither the Quaker." Calm, sedate, 
With the look of a man at ease with fate, 
Into that presence grim and dread 
Came Samuel Shattuck with hat on head. 

" Off with the knave's hat! " An angry hand 

Smote down the offence ; but the wearer said, 
With a quiet smile : " By the King's command 

I bear his message and stand in his stead." 
In the Governor's hand a missive he laid 
With the Royal arms on its seal displayed, 
And the proud man spake as he gazed thereat, 
Uncovering, " Give Mr. Shattuck his hat." 


He turned to the Quaker, bowing low : 

" The King commandeth your friends' release. 

Doubt not he shall be obeyed, although 
To his subjects' sorrow and sin's increase. 

What he here enjoineth John Endicott 

His loyal servant questioneth not. 

You are free ! God grant the spirit you own 

May take you from us to parts unknown." 

So the door of the jail was open cast, 

And like Daniel out of the lion's den, 
Tender youth and girlhood passed 

With age-bowed women and gray-locked men ; 
And the voice of one appointed to die 
Was lifted in praise and thanks on high, 
And the little maid from New Netherlands 
Kissed, in her joy, the doomed man's hands. 


And one, whose call was to minister 

To the souls in prison, beside him went, 
An ancient woman, bearing with her 

The linen shroud for his burial meant. 
For she, not counting her own life dear, 
In the strength of a love that cast out fear, 
Had watched and served where her brethren died, 
Like those who waited the Cross beside. 

One moment they paused on their way to look 
On the martyr graves by the Common side, 

And much-scourged Wharton of Salem took 

His burden of prophecy up and cried : 
" Rest, souls of the valiant ! Not in vain 

Have ye borne the Master's cross of pain ; 

Ye have fought the fight ; ye are victors crowned ; 

With a fourfold chain ye have Satan bound ! " 




The Autumn haze lay soft and still 

On wood and meadow and upland farms ; 
On the brow of Snow-hill the Great Windmill 

Slowly and lazily swung its arms ; 
Broad in the sunshine stretched away 
With its capes and islands the turquoise bay ; 
And over water and dusk of pines 
Blue hills lifted their faint outlines. 

The topaz leaves of the walnut glowed, 
The sumach added its crimson fleck, 

And double in air and water showed 
The tinted maples along the Neck. 

Through frost-flower clusters of pale star-mist, 

And gentian fringes of amethyst, 

And royal plumes of the golden-rod, 

The grazing cattle on Gentry trod. 


But as they who see not, the Quakers saw 
The world about them : they only thought 

With deep thanksgiving and pious awe 

Of the great deliverance God had wrought. 

Through lane and alley the gazing town 

Noisily followed them up and down ; 

Some with scoffing and brutal jeer, 

Some with pity and words of cheer. 

One brave voice rose above the din ; 

Upsall gray with his length of days 
Cried, from the door of his Red-Lion Inn, 

" Men of Boston ! give God the praise ! 
No more shall innocent blood call down 
The bolts of wrath on your guilty town ; 
The freedom of worship dear to you 
Is dear to all, and to all is due. 

" I see the vision of days to come, 

When your beautiful City of the Bay 
Shall be Christian liberty's chosen home, 

And none shall his neighbor's rights gainsay ; 
The varying notes of worship shall blend, 
And as one great prayer to God ascend ; 
And hands of mutual charity raise 
Walls of salvation and gates of praise ! " 

So passed the Quakers through Boston town, 

Whose painful ministers sighed to see 
The walls of their sheep-fold falling down, 

And wolves of heresy prowling free. 
But the years went on, and brought no wrong ; 
With milder counsels the State grew strong, 
As outward Letter and inward Light 
Kept the balance of truth aright. 


The Puritan spirit perishing not, 

To Concord's yeomen the signal sent, 
And spake in the voice of the cannon-shot 
That severed the chains of a continent. 
With its gentler mission of peace and good-will 
The thought of the Quaker is living still, 
And the freedom of soul he prophesied 
Is gospel and law where its martyrs died. 

Heliotype Printing Co., 






pwtjtetoric $erioD anD 





Professor of Palteontology in Harvard University. 

THE topography, the soils, and other physical conditions of the region 
about Boston depend in a very intimate way upon the geological 
history of the district in which they lie. The physical history of this 
district is closely bound up with that of all eastern New England, so that 
it is necessary at the outset to premise some general statements concerning 
the geological conditions of the larger field before we can proceed to the 
description of the very limited one that particularly concerns us. In this 
statement we shall necessarily be restricted to the facts that have a special 
bearing upon the ground on which the life of the city has developed. 

The New England section of North America viz. the district cut off 
by the Hudson, Champlain, and St. Lawrence valleys is one of the 
most distinctly marked of all the geographical regions of the con- 
tinent. In it we find a character of surface decidedly contrasted with 
that of any other part of the United States. While in the other districts 
of this country the soil and the contour of the surface are characterized by 
a prevailing uniformity of conditions, in this New England region we have 
a variety and detail of physical features that find their parallel only in 
certain parts of northern Europe, whence came the New England col- 
onists. This peculiarly varied surface of New England depends upon 
certain combinations of geological events that hardly admit of a very 
brief description. The main elements of the history are, however, as 
follows : 

VOL. i. i. 


The New England district has been more frequently and perhaps for a 
longer aggregate time above the level of the sea than any other part of the 
region south of the great lakes. This has permitted the erosive forces to 
wear away the unchanged later rocks, thereby exposing over its surface the 
deep-lying metamorphic beds on whose masses the internal heat of the 
earth has exercised its diversifying effects. This irregular metamorphism 
brings about a great difference in the hardness of the rocks, causing them 
to wear down, by the action of the weather, at very different rates. Then 
the mountain-building forces those that throw rocks out of their original 
horizontal positions into altitudes of the utmost variety have worked on 
this ground more than they have upon any other region east of the Cordille- 
ras of North America. Again, at successive times, and especially just before 
the human period, and possibly during its first stages in this country, the 
land was deeply buried beneath a sheet of ice. During the last glacial 
period, and perhaps frequently in the recurrent ice times, of which we find 
traces in the record of the rocks, the ice-sheet for long periods overtopped 
the highest of our existing hills, and ground away the rock-surface of the 
country as it crept onward to the sea. During the first stage of the last 
ice period this ice-sheet was certainly over two thousand feet thick in 
eastern Massachusetts, and its front lay in the sea at least fifty miles to 
the east of Boston. At this time the glacial border stretched from New 
York to the far north, in an ice-wall that lay far to the eastward of the 
present shore, hiding all traces of the land beneath its mass. 

These successive ice-sheets rested on a surface of rock, already much 
varied by the metamorphism and dislocations to which it had been sub- 
jected. Owing to the fact that ice cuts more powerfully in the valleys than 
on the ridges, and more effectually on the soft than on the hard rocks, 
these ice-sheets carved this surface into an amazing variety of valleys, pits, 
and depressions. We get some idea of the irregularity of these rock- carv- 
ings from the fretted nature of the sea-coast over which the ice-sheets rode. 
When the last ice-sheet melted away, it left on the surface it had worn 
a layer of rubbish often a hundred feet or more in depth. As its retreat 
was not a rout, but was made in a measured way, it often built long irregu- 
lar walls of waste along the lines where its march was delayed. When 
the ice-wall left the present shore-line, the land was depressed beneath the 
sea to a depth varying from about thirty feet along Long Island Sound to 
three or four hundred feet on the coast of Maine. The land slowly and by 
degrees recovered its position ; but, as it rose, the sea for a time invaded 
the shore, washing over with its tides and waves the rubbish left by the 
ice-sheet, stripping the low hills and heaping the waste into the valleys. 
While this work was going on, the seas had not yet regained their shore- 
life, which had been driven away by the ice, and the forests had not yet 
recovered their power on the land ; so the stratified deposits formed at this 
time contain no organic remains. At the close of this period, when the 
land had generally regained its old position in relation to the sea, there were 


several slight, irregular movements of the shore, local risings and sink- 
ings, each of a few feet in height. The last of these were accomplished in 
this locality not long before the advent of the European colonists ; some 
trace of their action is still felt on the coast to the northward. 

This brief synopsis of the varied geological history of New England will 
enable us to approach the similarly brief history of the Boston district. 

Looking on a detailed map of southeastern New England, the reader 
will observe that Massachusetts Bay and Boston Harbor form a deep but 
rudely shaped re-entrant angle on the coast. If the map is geologically 
colored, he will perceive that around this deep bay there is a fringe of clay 
slates and conglomerates, or pudding-stones. Further away, making a great 
horse-shoe, one horn of which is at Cape Ann and the other at Cohasset, 
the curve, at its bottom near the Blue Hills, includes a mass of old granitic 
rocks. This peculiar order of the rocks that surround Boston is caused by 
the existence here of a deep structural mountain valley or synclinal, the 
central part of which is occupied by the harbor. Long after the formation 
of the Green Mountains, at the time just after the laying down of the 
coal-beds of the Carboniferous age, this eastern part of New England, and 
probably a considerable region since regained by the sea, was thrown into 
mountain folds. These mountains have by the frequent visitations of gla- 
cial periods been worn down to their foundations, so that there is little in 
the way of their original reliefs to be traced. They are principally marked 
in the attitudes of that part of their recks that have escaped erosion. The 
Sharon and the Blue Hills are, however, the wasted remnants of a great 
anticlinal or ridge that bordered the Boston valley on the south side. The 
Waltham, Stoneham, and Cape Ann Bay granitic ridges made the mountain 
wall on its north side. Narragansett Bay and Boston Harbor are cut out in 
the softer rocks that were folded down between these mountain ridges. The 
lower part of the Merrimac valley is a mountain trough that has been simi- 
larly carved out, and there are others traceable still further to the northward. 
This mountain trough is very deep beneath Boston ; a boring made at the 
gas-works to the depth of over sixteen hundred feet failed to penetrate 
through it. If we could restore the rocks that have been taken away by 
decay, these mountain folds would much exceed the existing Alleghanics 
in height. 

Within the peninsula of Boston, the seat of the old town, these older 
rocks that were caught in the mountain folds do not come to the level 
of the sea. They are deeply covered by the waste of the glacial period. 
But in Roxbury, Dorchester, Somerville, Brookline, and many other adja- 
cent towns, they are extensively exposed. They consist principally of 
clay-slates and conglomerates, a mingled series, with a total thickness 
of from five to ten thousand feet. The slates are generally fine-grained 
and flag-like in texture, their structure showing that they were laid down 
in a sea at some distance from the shore. The conglomerates were evi- 
dently laid down in the sea at points near the shore ; and they are proba- 


bly the pebble-waste resulting from a glacial period that occurred in the 
Cambrian age, or at a time when the recorded organic history of the earth 
was at its very beginning. These rocks represent a time when the waters 
of this shore were essentially destitute of organic life. In the whole section 
we have only about three hundred feet of beds among the lower layers 
that hold any remains of organic life ; and these remains are limited to a 
few species of trilobites, that lived in the deep sea. From the slates and 
conglomerates of the Cambridge and Roxbury series the first quarried 
stones of this Colony were taken. The flagging-slates of Quincy, at the 
base of Squantum Neck, were perhaps the first that were extensively quar- 
ried. A large number of the old tombstones of this region were from these 
quarries. The next in use were the similar but less perfect slates of Cam- 
bridge and Somerville ; and last to come into use were the conglomerates 
and granites, that require much greater skill and labor on the part of the 
quarryman to work them. 1 At first the field-boulders supplied the stone 
for underpinning houses and other wall-work; so that the demand for 
gravestones was, during all the first and for most of the second century 
of the existence of the town, the only demand that led to the exploration 
of the quarry-rocks of this neighborhood. Indeed, we may say that the 
exploration of the excellent building and ornamental stones so abundant 
here has been barely begun within the last two decades. 

Although the rocks of this vicinity are extensively intersected by dykes 
and veins, those agents that in other regions aid the gathering together 
of the precious metals, no ore-bearing deposits have ever been found 
very near Boston. There is a story that a very thin lode of argen- 
tiferous galena was opened some fifty years ago in the town of Woburn, 
about eight miles from Boston, out of which a trifling amount of silver was 
taken. But, unlike the most of the other settlers in this country, the Mas- 
sachusetts colonists seem never to have had any interest in the search for 
precious metals, and we know of no efforts at precious metal-mining in 
the eastern part of this Commonwealth until we enter the present century. 
The craze for gold and silver, which seems almost inevitable in the life of 
the frontiersman, was unknown in the early days of New England. 2 

Although the general features of the topography of this district are 
determined by the disposition of the hard underlying rocks, the detail of 
all the surface is chiefly made by the position of the drift or glacial waste 
left here at the end of the last ice time, but much sorted and re-arranged 
by water action. If we could strip away the sheet of glacial and post- 
glacial deposits from this region, we would about double the size of Boston 
Harbor and greatly simplify its form. All the islands save a few rocks, the 
peninsulas of Hull and Winthrop Head, indeed that of Boston proper, 
would disappear; with them would go about all of Cambridge, Charles- 

1 [Cf. Shurtleff's Desc. of Boston, p. 189. whales and make trials of a mine of gold and 
ED.] copper ; " but he added the alternative, " if those 

2 [Captain John Smith, speaking of his voyage failed, fish and furs were then our refuge, to make 
on our coast in 1614, says he came "to take ourselves savers," and so they proved. ED.] 


town, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, a large part of Maiden, Brighton, Brook- 
line, and Quincy. Charles River, Mystic River, and Neponset River would 
become broad estuaries, running far up into the land. 

The history of the making of these drift-beds is hard to decipher, and 
harder still to describe in a brief way. The following statement is only 
designed to give a very general outline of the events in this remarkable 

After the ice had lain for an unknown period over this region, climatal 
changes caused it to shrink away slowly and by stages, until it disappeared 
altogether. As it disappeared it left a very deep mass of waste, which was 
distributed in an irregular way over the surface, at some places much deeper 
than at others. At many points this depth exceeded one hundred feet. As 
the surface of the land lay over one hundred feet below the present level 
in the district of Massachusetts Bay when the sea began to leave the shore, 
the sea had free access to this incoherent mass of debris, and began rapidly 
to wash it away. We can still see a part of this work of destruction of the 
glacial beds in the marine erosion going on about the islands and headlands 
in the harbor and bay. The same sort of work went on about the glacial 
beds, at the height of one hundred feet or more above the present tide-line. 
During this period of re-elevation, the greater part of the drift-deposits of 
the region about Boston was worked over by the water. Where the gravel 
happened to lie upon a ridge of rock that formed, as it were, a pedestal for 
it, it generally remained as an island above the surface of the water. As the 
land seems to have risen pretty rapidly when the ice-burden was taken off, 
probably on account of this very relief from its load, the sea did not 
have time to sweep away the whole of these islands of glacial waste. 
Many of them survive in the form of low, symmetrical bow-shaped hills. 
Parker's Hill, Corey's Hill, Aspinwall, and the other hills on the south side 
of Charles River, Powderhorn and other hills in Chelsea and Winthrop, are 
conspicuously beautiful specimens of this structure. Of this nature were 
also the three hills that occupied the peninsula of Boston, known as Sentry 
or Beacon, Fort, and Copp's hills. Whenever an open cut is driven 
through these hills, we find in the centre a solid mass of pebbles and clay, 
all confusedly intermingled, without any distinct trace of bedding. This 
mass, termed by geologists till, or boulder-clay, is the waste of the glacier, 
lying just where it dropped when the ice in which it was bedded ceased to 
move, and melted on the ground where it lay. All around these hills, with 
their central core of till, there 'are sheets of sand, clay, and gravel, which 
have been washed from the original mass, and worked over by the tides and 
rivers. This reworked boulder-clay constitutes by far the larger part of the 
dry lowland surface about Boston : all the flat-lands above the level of the 
swamps which lay about the base of the three principal hills of old Bos- 
ton lands on which the town first grew were composed of the bedded 
sands and gravels derived from the waste of the old boulder-clay. These 
terraces of sand and gravel from the reasserted boulder-clay make up by 


far the greater part of the low-lying arable lands of eastern Massachusetts ; 
and of this nature are about all the lands first used for town-sites and 
tillage by the colonists, notwithstanding the soil they afford is not as 
rich nor as enduring as the soils upon the unchanged boulder-clay. The 
reason these terrace deposits were the most sought for town-sites and cul- 
tivation is that they were the only tracts of land above the level of the 
swamps that were free from large boulders. Over all the unchanged drift 
these large boulders were originally so abundant that it was a very laborious 
work to clear the land for cultivation ; but on these terraces of stratified drift 
there were never boulders enough to render them difficult of cultivation. 
The result was that the first colonists sought this class of lands. One of 
the advantages of the neighborhood of Boston was the large area of these 
terrace deposits found there. There was an area of fifteen or twenty thou- 
sand acres within seven or eight miles of the town that could have been 
quickly brought under the plough, and which was very extensively culti- 
vated before the boulder-covered hills began to be tilled. 

After the terrace-making period had passed away, owing to the rising of 
the land above the sea, there came a second advance of the glaciers, which 
had clung to the higher hills, and had not passed entirely away from the 
land. This second advance did not cover the land with ice ; it only caused 
local glaciers to pour down the valleys. The Neponset, the Charles, and 
the Mystic valleys were filled by these river-like streams, which seem never 
to have attained as far seaward as the peninsula of Boston. This second ad- 
vance of the ice seems to have been very temporary in its action, not hav- 
ing endured long enough to bring about any great changes. At about the 
time of its retreat, the last considerable change of line along these shores 
seems to have taken place. This movement was a subsidence of the land 
twenty feet or more below the former high-tide mark. This is shown by 
the remains of buried roots of trees, standing as they grew in the harbor 
and coast-lands about Boston. These have been found at two points on the 
shore of Cambridge, a little north of the west end of West Boston Bridge, 
and in Lynn harbor. Since this last sinking, the shore-line in this district 
shows no clear indications of change. 

With the cessation of the disturbances of the glacial period and at the 
beginning of the present geological conditions, the last of the constructive 
changes of this coast began. Hitherto mechanical forces alone had done 
their work on the geography of the region ; henceforward, to the present 
day, organic life, driven away from the shore and land by the glacial period, 
again takes a share in the constructive work. This is still going on about 
us. The larger part of it is done by the littoral sea-weeds and the swamp 
grasses. Along the estuaries of the Saugus, Mystic, Charles, and Ne- 
ponset rivers there are some thousands of acres of lands which have been 
recovered from the sea by these plants. The operation is in general 
as follows : The mud brought down by these streams, consisting in part of 
clay and in part of decomposed vegetable matter, derived from land and 


water plants, coats the sandy bottoms or under-water terraces. In this 
mud, even at considerable depths, eel-grass and some sea-weeds take root, 
and their stems make a dense jungle. In this grass more mud is gath- 
ered, and kept from the scouring action of the tide by being bound 
together by the roots and cemented by the organic matter. This mass 
slowly rises until it is bare at low-tide. Then our marsh-grasses creep in, 
and in their interlaced foliage the waste brought in by the tide is retained, 
and helps to raise the level of the swamp higher. The streams from the land 
bring out a certain amount of mud, which at high-tide is spread in a thin 
sheet over the surface of the low plain. Some devious channels are kept 
open by the strong scouring action of the tide, but the swamp rapidly 
gains a level but little lower than high-tide. Except when there is some 
chance deposit of mud or sand from the bluffs along its edges, these 
swamps are never lifted above high-tide mark, for the forces that build them 
work only below that level. Their effect upon the harbor of Boston has 
been disadvantageous. They have diminished the area of storage for the 
tide-water above the town, and thereby enfeebled the scouring power of 
the tidal currents. Except at the very highest tides, the Charles, Mystic, 
and Neponset rivers now pour their mud directly into the harbor, instead of 
unloading it upon the flats where these marshes have grown up. There are 
other forces at work to diminish the depth of water in the harbor. The 
score or more of islands that diversify its surface are all sources of waste, 
which the waves tend to scatter over the floor. For the first two hundred 
years after the settlement, the erosion of these islands was not prevented 
by sea-walls ; and in this time the channels were doubtless much shoaled by 
river-waste. Just after the glacial period these channels were very deep. 
Borings made in the investigations for the new sewerage system showed that 
the channel at the mouth of the Neponset had been over one hundred feet 
deeper than at present, the filling being the rearranged glacial drift 
brought there by just such processes as have recently shoaled the channels 
of the harbor. 

The depth of this port has also been affected by the drifting in of sands 
along the shores contiguous to the northeast and southeast. When the sea 
surges along these shores, it drives a great deal of waste towards the har- 
bor. A fortunate combination of geographical accidents has served to keep 
the harbor from utter destruction from this action. On the north side, 
whence comes the greater part of this drifting material, several pocket-like 
beaches have been formed, which catch the moving sands and pebbles in 
their pouches, and stop their further movement. But for these protections 
at Marblehead Neck, Lynn, and Chelsea on the north, and Nantasket on the 
south the inner harbor would hardly exist, since these lodgements contain 
enough waste to close it entirely. At Nantasket the beach is now full and 
no longer detains the accumulating sands, which are overflowing into the 
outer harbor ; yet, as the rate of flow is slow, its effect is not likely to be 
immediately hurtful. 


Of the ancient life of this district there is hardly a trace. The two 
great and conspicuous formations in the basin the flags and conglomer- 
ates of the Roxbury series and the drift deposits of the last geological 
age are both very barren in organic remains, for the reason that they 
are probably both the product of ice periods. The rocks older than the 
Roxbury series are too much changed to have preserved any trace of the 
organisms they may have once contained. In the rearranged drift there are 
some very interesting remains of buried forests that have not yet received 
from naturalists the attention they deserve. These buried trees lie at a con- 
siderable depth below low-tide mark, and are not exposed, except by the 
chance of the few excavations along the shore that penetrate to some depth 
below the water-line. When found, these trees seem all to be species 
of coniferous woods. The cone-bearing trees appear from this and other 
evidence to have been the first to remake the forests of this region, after 
the cessation of the last ice time. Even the larger animals that once in- 
habited this district the moose, caribou, etc. have left little trace of 
their occupation. It is rare, indeed, that a bone of their skeletons is found, 
except among the middens accumulated around the old camping-grounds 
of the aborigines. 

On the extreme borders of the Boston basin there are extensive fossil- 
bearing strata. At Mansfield, on the south, which is just outside of this 
synclinal, and within the limits of the Rhode Island trough of the same 
nature, there is a broad section of the coal-measures exposed in some 
mines now unworked. These beds are extremely rich in fossil plants. 
At Gloucester there is a small deposit of beds, containing shells of mol- 
lusks that lived in the early part of the present period, that lie just above 
the high-tide mark. But neither of these interesting deposits extends into 
the limits of the Boston basin. 

Although this basin has lost the greater part of its rocks by the wast- 
ing action of the glacial periods, it owes more to these events than to 
all the other forces that have affected its physical condition. To their 
action we must attribute the formation of the trough in which the har- 
bor lies, the building of the peninsula occupied by the original town, and 
all the beautiful details of contour of the adjoining country. To them, 
also, it owes the peculiarly favorable conditions of drainage afforded by 
the deep sandy soils that underlie the terraces where the greater part 
of the urban population has found its dwelling-place. 


J \ 




Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. 

THE changes in the fauna of the region immediately surrounding Boston, 
wrought by civilization, are merely such as would be expected to occur 
in the transformation of a forest wilderness into a thickly populated district, 
namely, the extirpation of all the larger indigenous mammals and birds, the 
partial extinction of many others, and the great reduction in numbers of 
nearly all forms of animal life, both terrestrial and aquatic, as well as the 
introduction of various domesticated species and those universal pests of 
civilization the house rats and mice. The only other introduced species of 
importance are the European house-spanrow and a few species of noxious 
insects. As there is nothing peculiar in the changes in question, it seems 
best to devote the few pages allotted to this subject to a presentation of 
data bearing upon the character of the fauna as it was when the country 
was first settled by Europeans, these data being derived from the narratives 
of Wood, Morton, Higginson, Josselyn, and other early writers. 

MAMMALS. William Wood, in his New Englands Prospect, first pub- 
lished in 1634, thus begins his quaint enumeration of the animals occurring 
in the neighborhood of Boston : 

"The kingly Lyon, and the strong arm'd Beare, 
The large lim'd Mooses, with the tripping Deare, 
Quill darting Porcupines and Rackcoones be, 
Castell'd in the hollow of an aged tree. . . ." 

" Concerning Lyons," a point of some interest in the present connection, he 
adds, " I will not say that I ever saw any my selfe, but some affirme that they 
have scene a Lyon at Cape Anne, which is not above six leagus from Boston : 
some likewise being lost in woods, have heard such terrible roarings, as 
have made them much agast; which must either be Dcvills or Lyons; 
there being no other creatures which use to roare saving Beares, which have 
not such a terrible kinde of roaring : besides, Plimouth men have traded for 
VOL. i. 2. 


Lyons skinnes in formfcr times." 1 To the above respecting " Lyons " may 
be added the following from an anonymous account of New Englands 
Plantation, published in 1630, and attributed to Francis Higginson: "For 
Beasts there are some Beares, and they say some Lyons also ; for they 
have been seen at Cape Anne, ... I have seen the Skins of all these Beasts 
since I came to this Plantation excepting Lyons." These and other early 
allusions to " Lyons " at Cape Ann, Plymouth, and elsewhere in southern 
New England, doubtless relate to the catamount or panther (the Fclis con- 
color of naturalists), which formerly ranged from near the northern boun- 
dary of the United States throughout the continent, but which long since 
disappeared from nearly the whole Atlantic slope north of Virginia. 

Lynxes were quite common, and bears rather numerous, the latter being 
hunted for their oil and flesh, which were esteemed " not bad commodities." 
Wolves roamed in large packs, and were very destructive to sheep, swine, 
and calves. As early as 1630 the Court of Massachusetts ordered rewards 
for their destruction. The wolves appear to have been unable or unwilling 
to leap fences in pursuit of cattle, a trait the settlers soon learned to profit 
by, as shown by the following from Wood, who, in describing the plantation 
of Saugus, refers to the " necke of land called Nahant" and adds: "In 
this nccke is store of good ground, fit for the Plow ; but for the present it 
is onely used for to put young cattle in, and weather-goates, and Swine, to 
secure them from the Woolves : a few posts and rayles from the lower 
water-markes to the shore, keepes out the Wolves, and keepes in the 
cattle." 2 He alludes to the same practice in his account of Boston, the 
situation of which, he says, " is very pleasant, being a Peninsula, hem'd in 
on the South-side with the Bay of Roxberry, on the North-side with CJiarles- 
river, the Marshes on the backe-side, being not halfe a quarter of a mile 
over; so that a little fencing will secure their Cattle from the Woolves." 3 
Foxes were also so numerous as to be a great annoyance, bounties being 
early offered for their destruction. Lewis states that the authorities of 
Lynn paid, between the years 1698 and 1722, for the destruction of four 
hundred and twenty-eight foxes killed in " the Lynn woods and on Nahant," 
the reward being two shillings for each fox. 

Among animals long since extirpated from Massachusetts is the " Jac- 
cal " mentioned by Josselyn, 4 who describes it as " ordinarily less than 
Foxes, of the colour of a gray Rabbet, and do' not scent nothing near so 
strong as a Fox" This account points unquestionably to the Virginian or 
gray fox {Urocyon cinereo-argcntatus} , which during the last hundred years 
has receded southward and westward with great rapidity. 

In respect to the larger game animals, there appears to be no evidence of 
the presence of the elk or wapiti deer {Ccrinis canadensis) in eastern Massa- 
chusetts within historic times, although it occupied the country not far to 
the westward. There are, however, distinct references to the occurrence of 

1 Wood, ed. of 1636, pp. 16, 17. 3 Ibid, p 32. 

2 Ibid. p. 35. * New Englands A'aritifs, p. 22. 


the moose {Alces malchis) at Lynn and elsewhere northward and west- 
ward within forty miles of Boston. It was sometimes referred to under the 
name " elk," as in the following, from Morton's New English Canaan^ pub- 
lished in 1637, but the accompanying descriptions render clear the identity 
of the species. " First, therefore," says Morton, " I will speake of the 
Elke, which the Salvages call a Mose : it is a very large Deare, with a very 
faire head, and a broade palme, like the palme of a fallow Deares horn, but 
much bigger, and is 6. foote wide betweene the tipps, which grow curbing 
downwards : Hee is of the biggnesse of a great horse. There have bin of 
them, scene that has bin 18. handfulls higher hee hath a bunch of haire 
under his jawes. . . ." Wood 2 says: "There be not many of these in 
Massachusetts bay, but forty miles to the Northeast there be great store 
of them." 

The common deer (Cariactu virginianus) was, from its abundance, by 
far the most important of the larger native animals, and for many years 
afforded a ready supply of animal food. Morton states that " an hundred 
have bin found at the spring of the yeare, within the compasse of a mile," 3 
and other writers refer to their numbers in similar terms. With the excep- 
tion of a small remnant still existing in Plymouth and Barnstable Counties, 
thanks to stringent legislative protection, the species became long since 
extirpated throughout nearly the whole of southern New England. 

Among other mammals that have entirely disappeared are the beaver, 
the marten, and the porcupine. The otter and the raccoon are nearly ex- 
tinct, and nearly all the smaller species occur in greatly reduced numbers, 
including the muskrat, mink, weasels, shrews, moles, squirrels, and the 
various species of field-mice. The marine mammals have declined equally 
with the land species. There are many allusions to the abundance, in early 
times, of seals, whales, and the smaller cetaceans. One writer, in speaking 
of Massachusetts Bay, says, " for it is well knowne that it equalizeth Groin- 
land for Whales and Grampuses." It is a matter of history that a profita- 
ble whale-fishery was at one time carried on in the Bay itself, the whales 
being pursued at first in open boats from the shore. 

BIRDS. The great auk and the Labrador duck are believed to have 
become everywhere extinct, especially the former, and five or six other 
species long since disappeared from southern New England. All the 
larger species, and many of the shore-birds, have greatly decreased, as 
have likewise most of the smaller forest-birds. The few that haunt culti- 
vated grounds have doubtless nearly maintained their former abundance, 
and in some instances have possibly increased in numbers. Prominent 
among those formerly abundant, but which now occur only at long inter- 
vals as stragglers from the remote interior, are swans and cranes. Respect- 
ing the former, Morton has left us the following: " And first of the Swanne, 
because shee is the biggest of all the fowles of that Country. There are of 

1 Page 74. 2 Page 18. 3 New English Canaan, p. 75. 



them in Merrimack River, and in other parts of the country, greate store at 
the seasons of the yeare. The flesh is not much desired of the inhab- 
itants, but the skinnes may be accompted a commodity, fitt for divers uses, 
both for fethers and quiles." Of " Cranes," he says, " there are greate store. 
. . . These sometimes eate our corne, and doe pay for their presumption well 

enough ; and scrvcth there 
in powther, with turnips to 
supply the place of pow- 
thered beefe, and is a 
goodly bird in a dishe, 
and no discommodity." 1 
The crane was probably 
the brown crane (Cms can- 
adensis), while the swans 
embraced both of the 
American species. 

The wild Turkey is well 
known to have been for- 
merly abundant. Wood 
speaks of there sometimes 
being " forty, three-score, 
and an hundred of aflocke," 
while Morton alludes to a 
" thousand " seen in one 
day. According to Josse- 
lyn, they began early to 
decline. After alluding to 
their former abundance, he 
THE GREAT AUK. says, writing in 1672, "but 

this was thirty years since, 

the English and the Indian having now so destroyed the breed, so that 't is 
very rare to meet with a Tnrkie in the Woods ; but some of the English 
bring up great store of the wild kind, which remain about their Houses as 
tame as ours in England" ' 2 The complete extirpation of the wild stock 
appears to have occurred at an early date. 

The pinnated grouse (Cupidonia cupido) likewise soon disappeared. 
The few which still remain on Martha's Vineyard are believed to be a rem- 
nant of the original stock, but this is rendered doubtful by the fact that 
birds introduced from the West have been at different times turned out on 
this or neighboring islands. 

The former presence of the great auk {A lea impennis} along the coast 
of Massachusetts is not only attested by history but by the occurrence of* 
its bones in the Indian shell-heaps at Ipswich and neighboring points. It 
seems to have existed in the vicinity of Boston till near the close of the 

1 New English Canaan, p. 67. z A r ew England* Rarities, p. 9. 


seventeenth century, but probably did not survive to a much later date. 
The earliest reference to it as a bird of our coast is contained in Archer's 
Relation of Captaine Gosnols Voyage to the North part of Virginia, made in 
1602, in which " Pengwins " are mentioned as found on the New Eng- 
land coast in latitude 43. The account further states that " near Gilbert's 
Point," in latitude 41 40', " by the ships side we there killed Pengwins." 
In Rosier's account of a Virginian Voyage made An. 1605 by Captaine 
George WaymoutJi, in tJie Arch-angell, " Penguins" are enumerated among 
the birds met with, in all probability near Nantucket Shoals. As the bird 
here called " Penguins " is not described in the accounts above cited, the 
following, from Captain Richard Whitbourne's Relation of Newfoundland^ 
may be of interest : " These Penguins are as bigge as Geese, and flie not, 
for they have but a little short wing, and they multiply so infinitely vpon a 
certaine flat Hand, that men drive them from thence vpon a boord into 
their Boates by hundreds at a time ; as if God had made the innocencie of 
so poore a creature to become such an admirable instrument for the sus- 
tentation of man." 1 From Josselyn's account of the " Wobble," which is 
evidently the same bird, it may be inferred that it was not uncommon on 
the coast of Massachusetts Bay as late as 1672. He says: "The Wobble, 
an ill shaped Fowl, having no long Feathers in their Pinions, which is the 
reason they cannot fly, not much unlike a Penguin; they are in the Spring 
very fat, or rather oyly, but pull'd and garbidg'd, and laid to the Fire to 
roast, they yield not one drop." 2 

The abundance of water-fowl and shore-birds seems worthy of brief 
notice. Morton describes three kinds of geese, and says: "There is of 
them great abundance. I have had often 1000. before the mouth of my 
gunne . . . the fethers of the Geese that I have killed in a short time, have 
paid for all the powther and shott, I have spent in a yeare, and I have fed 
my doggs with as fatt Geese there as I have ever fed upon my selfe in 
England." Of ducks he mentions three kinds, besides " Widggens," and 
two sorts of teal, and refers to its being a " noted Custome " at his house 
" to have every mans Duck upon a trencher." He speaks of the smaller 
shore-birds under the general term " Sanderling," and says they were 
" easie to come by, because I went but a stepp or to for them : I have 
killed betweene foure and five dozen at a shoot which would loade me 
home." 3 

Wood observes, " Such is the simplicity of the smaller sorts of these 
birds [which he calls ' Humilities or Simplicities,'] that one may drive 
them on a heape like so many sheepe, and seeing a fit time shoot them ; 
the living seeing the dead, settle themselves on the same place againe, 
amongst which the Fowler discharges againe. I my selfe have killed twelve 
score at two shootes." 4 

No bird appears to have been more numerous in early times throughout 

1 Purchas his Pilgrims, iv. pp. 1885, 1886. 3 New English Canaan, pp. 67-69. 

2 New England* Rarities, p. n. * New England's Prospect, pp. 26, 27. 


the whole Atlantic slope than was the wild pigeon. The early historians 
of the region here in question speak of flocks containing " millions of mil- 
lions," having seemingly, as Josselyn expresses it, " neither beginning nor 
ending," and " so thick " as to obscure the sun. Other writers speak of 
their passing in such immense clouds as to hide the sun for hours together. 

REPTILES. The antipathy to snakes, which so generally impels their 
destruction at every opportunity, has left few of these in comparison with 
their former numbers. The rattlesnake, the only dangerous species, found 
now only at few localities, was formerly much more generally dispersed. 
The draining of ponds and marshy lands has greatly circumscribed the 
haunts of frogs, salamanders, and tortoises, which at many localities have 
become nearly extirpated. 

FISHES. A few quotations respecting some of the more important 
kinds of edible fish will show to how great a degree our streams and coast 
waters have been depopulated. Respecting the codfish, the bass, and the 
mackerel, Morton speaks as follows : " The Coast aboundeth with such 
multitudes of Codd, that the inhabitants of New England doe dunge their 
grounds with Codd ; and it is a commodity better than the golden mines 
of the Spanish Indies. . . . The Basse is an excellent Fish. . . . There are 
such multitudes, that I have scene stopped into. the river [Merrimack] close 
adjoyning to my howse with a sand at one tide, so many as will loade a ship 
of a 100. Tonnes. Other places have greater quantities in so much, as 
wagers have bin layed, that one should not throw a stone in the water, but 
that hee should hit a fish. I my selfe, at a turning of the tyde, have scene 
such multitudes passe out of a pound, that it seemed to mee, that one might 
goe over their backs drishod. . . . The Mackarels are the baite for the 
Basse, and these have bin chased into the shallow waters, where so many 
thousands have shott themselves ashore with the surfe of the Sea, that 
whole hogges-heads have bin taken up on the Sands ; and for length they 
excell any of other parts: they have bin measured 18. and 19. inches in 
length, and seaven in breadth : and are taken ... in very greate quantities 
all alonge the Coaste." l 

Wood says, "... shoales of Basse have driven up shoales of Macrill 
from one end of the sandie Beach to another [referring to Lynn Beach] ; 
which the inhabitants have gathered up in wheelc-barrowes." Higginson, 
in speaking of " a Fish called a Basse," states that the fishermen used to 
take more of them in their nets than they could " hale to land, and for want 
of Boats and Men they are constrained to let a many goe after they have 
taken them, and yet sometimes they fill two Boats at a time with them." 

Other kinds of fish appear to have been correspondingly abundant. 
" There is a Fish, (by some called shadds, by some allizes)," says Morton, 
" that at the spring of the yearc, passe up the rivers to spaune in the ponds ; 

1 New English Gutaan, pp. 86-88. 


and are taken in such multitudes in every river, that hath a pond at the 
end, that the Inhabitants doung their ground with them. You may see in 
one towneship a hundred acres together, set with these Fish, every acre 
taking 1000. of them." Wood records that " In two Tydes they have 
gotten one hundred thousand of those Fishes" (referring to shad and 
alewives) " in a Wayre to catch Fish," built just below the falls of Charles 
River. Among other abundant species are mentioned halibut and floun- 
ders. Respecting the latter, Morton says " They (at flowing water) do 
almost come ashore, so that one may stepp but halfe a foote deepe and 
prick them up on the sands." 

I find no distinct allusion to the bluefish, but it is well known to* have 
been for a long time of periodical occurrence in Massachusetts Bay. A 
century ago it was abundant about Nantucket and to some distance north- 
ward; later, it disappeared for about fifty years, and then again became 
more or less abundant, even in Massachusetts Bay. Their reappearance, 
says Mr. N. E. Atwood, has caused " the rapid diminution of the mackerel 
during the spawning-season, and the tenfold increase of the lobster, the 
young of which were devoured by the mackerel." l 

INVERTEBRATES. There are, as would naturally be expected, few 
available data for a comparison of the present invertebrate fauna with that 
of two hundred and fifty years ago, and these relate mainly to a few of the 
edible " shell-fish." From the accounts left us by the authors already so 
frequently quoted, it appears that the lobster has declined greatly in num- 
bers and in size. In the quaint language of the times, they are said to 
have been " infinite in store in all parts of the land, and very excellent," 
and to have sometimes attained a weight of sixteen to twenty-five pounds. 
They appear to have been an important source of food to the Indians, as 
Morton 2 says, "... the Salvages will meete 500, or 1000. at a place where 
Lobsters come in with the tyde, to eate, and save dried for store, abiding 
in that place, feasting and sporting a moneth or 6. weekes together." 

Oysters were found in " greate store " " in the entrance of all Rivers," 
and of large size. Wood says the oyster-banks in Charles River " doe barre 
out the bigger ships." He thus describes the oysters : " The Oisters be 
great ones in forme of a shoo home, some be a foote long, these breede on 
certaine bankes that are bare every Spring tide. This fish without the shell 
is so big that it must admit of a division before you can well get it into 
your mouth." From some not well-known cause the oysters died out so 
long ago along most parts of the Massachusetts coast that some recent 
authorities have doubted whether they were ever indigenous here, those 
now cultivated having been introduced from other points. 

Of clams (" Clames," " Clammes," or "Clamps," as they were variously 
designated), it is said " there is no want, every shore is full." Besides their 
ordinary uses they were esteemed " a great commoditie for the feeding of 

1 Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., xii. p. 403. 2 New English Canaan, p. 90. 


Swine, both in Winter and Summer; for being once used to those places, 
they will repaire to them as duely every ebbe, as if they were driven to them 
by keepers." Swine were doubtless instrumental in eradicating clams and 
mussels at the points they visited, since it is well-known that, at localities 
in the West where they are allowed to run at large, they quickly destroy 
the fresh-water mussels in all the streams where in seasons of drought they 
can gain access to these animals. The use of clams for fish-bait has also 
tended greatly to their decrease. At many points along the coast of 
Massachusetts Bay they have become wholly exterminated, since a com- 
paratively recent date, over areas embracing hundreds of acres in extent. 
Their extinction, however, seems not in all cases to have been the result of 
human agency, but is known, in some instances, to have been caused by 
exposure of the tracts they inhabited to extreme cold during very low tides. 
The changes in respect to insect-life have unquestionably been great, 
some species having decreased while others have become more numerous. 
Many obnoxious species have been fortuitously introduced from other 
countries, while some have reached us by migration from distant parts of 
the West. Of the latter, the Colorado potato-beetle is the best-known 
example, which has recently reached the Atlantic coast by a gradual 
migration from the Great Plains, and which at present constitutes the most 
dreaded foe with which the farmer has to contend. In early times, 
as is well-known, the locusts, or " grasshoppers," occasionally appeared in 
such numbers as to commit serious depredations. 





Fisher Professor of Natural History itt Harvard University. 

THE changes of climate which are referred to in a preceding chapter 
have led to corresponding changes in the vegetation. It is only by 
conjecture and analogy that we can form some general idea of the vegeta- 
tion of Massachusetts in the days which immediately preceded the advent 
of the glacial period, when the ancestors of the present trees, shrubs, and 
herbs of New England, which had long flourished within the Arctic Circle, 
were beginning to move southward before the slowly advancing refrigera- 
tion. But, as the refrigeration at the north increased, a warm-temperate 
vegetation, which may have resembled that of the Carolinas and of Florida 
at present, must have been forced southward, and have been replaced very 
gradually by a flora very like that which we now look upon. This, in its 
turn, must have been wholly expelled from New England by the advanc- 
ing ice-sheet, under and by which our soil has been completely re- 
modelled. After this ice-sheet had melted and receded, and the new soil 
had become fit for land vegetation, that is, at a time geologically re- 
cent, the vegetation of Boston and its environs must have closely resem- 
bled that of northern Labrador or of Greenland, or even have consisted 
mainly of the same species of herbs and stunted shrubs which compose the 
present Arctic-alpine flora. The visitor to the summit of Mount Washing- 
ton will there behold a partial representation of it, as it were an insular 
patch, a vestige of the vegetation which skirted the ice in its retreat, and 
was stranded upon the higher mountain summits of New England, while the 
main body retreated northward at lower levels. In time, the arborescent 
vegetation, and the humbler plants which thrive in the shade of trees, or 
such of them as survived the vicissitudes of a southern migration, returned 
to New England ; and our coast must have been at one time clothed with 
white spruces ; then probably with black spruce and arbor-vitae, with here 
and there some canoe birches and beeches ; and these, as the climate ame- 
liorated, were replaced by white and red pines, and at length the common 
pitch pine came to occupy the lighter soils; and the three or four species 
VOL. i. 3. 


of oak, the maples, ashes, with their various arboreal and frutescent asso- 
ciates, came in to complete the ordinary and well-known New England 
forest of historic times. 1 

Even without historical evidence, we should infer with confidence that 
New England before human occupation was wholly forest-clad, excepting a 
line of salt marshes on certain shores, and the bogs and swamps not yet firm 
enough to sustain trees. The islands in our bay were well wooded under 
Nature's planting, although we now find it difficult, yet by no means im- 
possible, to reforest them. 

The Indian tribes found here by the whites had not perceptibly modi- 
fied the natural vegetation; and there is no evidence that they had here 
been preceded by any agricultural race. Their inconsiderable plantation of 
maize, along with some beans and pumpkins, originally derived from 
much more southern climes, but thriving under a sultry summer, how- 
ever important to the raisers, could not have sensibly affected the face of 
the country ; although it was said that " in divers places there is much 
ground cleared by the Indians." But, whatever may have been the amount 
of their planting, if the aborigines had simply abandoned the country, no 
mark of their occupation would have long remained, so far as the vegetable 
kingdom is concerned. 

Very different was the effect of European immigration, and the occupa- 
tion of the land by an agricultural, trading, and manufacturing people. 
Yet, with all the change, it is not certain that any species of tree, shrub, or 
herb has been extirpated from eastern Massachusetts, although many which 
must have been common have become rare and local, and their continua- 
tion precarious ; and the distribution and relative proportions of the land 
flora, and even that of the streams, have been largely altered. 

Regarded simply as to number of species, no doubt an increase in the 
variety has been the net result, even after leaving all cultivated and pur- 

1 Palfrey, in his History of New England, acteristicalness was soon expressed in the pine- 

i. 16, enumerates the characteristic trees of New tree money, its effigy being impressed upon their 

England. Most are indigenous to the vicinity only coinage. The wealth of the oak-genus, even 

of Boston. All were different in species from in the vicinity of Boston, must have been noted ; 

the trees of old England, except the white birch and among the larger shrubs or low trees the 

and the chestnut, which are here represented by magnolia and rhododendron (if, indeed, they 

American varieties; but the greater part were of were early met with here), the kalmia, the larger 

familiar genera. Those which must have been sumach, the hawthorns and the Juneberry with 

new to the settlers were such as the flowering edible fruit, several species of viburnum, the 

dogwood, the sassafras, the tupelo, and the sweet pepper-bush, the pink and the white azalea, 

hickory, to which the tulip-tree would be must have attracted early attention. It would 

added on taking a wider range ; and, among be interesting to know how soon the epigaea, or 

evergreens, the hemlock-spruce, and the three May-flower deliciously-scented precursor of 

trees of as many different genera to which the spring, blossoming among russet fallen leaves 

colonists gave the name of cedar, though it from which the winter's snow has just melted 

rightfully belongs to none of them. The white away came to be noticed and prized. It is 

pine the noblest and most useful tree of New not much to his credit as an observer that 

England must also have been a novelty, no Josselyn takes no account of it. But he 

pine of that type having been known to the equally omits all mention of huckleberries and 

settlers; and their sense of its value and char- blueberries. 


posely introduced plants out of view. For while it is doubtful if any spe- 
cies has been entirely lost from the environs of Boston (taking these to 
include the counties of Norfolk, Middlesex, and Essex), a very consid- 
erable number has been acquired, although the gain has not always been 
an advantage. Some of the .immigrant plants, indeed, are ornamental or 
useful ; others are the pests of the fields and gardens, showy though seve- 
ral of them are ; and perhaps all of them are regarded by the botanist with 
dislike when they mix themselves freely or predominantly with the native 
denizens of the soil, as if " to the manner born," since their incoming tends 
to confuse the natural limits and characteristics of floras. 

The influx of European weeds was prompt and rapid from the first, and 
has not ceased to flow ; for hardly a year passes in which new comers are 
not noticed in some parts of the country. 

The earliest notices of the plants of this vicinity which evince any botani- 
cal knowledge whatever are contained in John Josselyn's New Englands 
Rarities discovered, published in 1672,* and in his Voyages, published in 
1674. The next after a long interval are by Manasseh Cutler, of 
Ipswich (Hamilton), in his "Account of Some of the Vegetable Produc- 
tions naturally growing in this part of America, botanically arranged," 
published inthe first volume of the Memoirs of the American Academy of 
Arts and Sciences in 1785. Next in order was Dr. Bigelow's Florida 
Bostoniensis, issued in 1814. 

More interesting to us than his account of the indigenous vegetation of 
the country is Josselyn's list " of such plants as have sprung up since the 
English planted and kept cattle in New England." Twenty-one of such 
plants are mentioned by their popular English names, and most of them are 
to be identified. And the list of " garden herbs " comprises several 
plants among them sorrel, purslane, spearmint, ground-ivy, elecam- 
pane, and tansy which have since become naturalized weeds. More- 
over, several herbs are mentioned as indigenous both to New England and 
to the mother country which are certainly not of American origin, but 
manifest introductions from the Old World. 

There is no need to specify the numerous plants of the Old World 
which, purposely or accidentally imported by European settlers, have been 
added to the flora not only of Boston, but of the Atlantic United States 
generally. They are conspicuous in all our manuals and catalogues., and 
indeed are even more familiar to people in general than are most of the 
indigenous plants. Yet attention may be called to those which are some- 
what peculiarly denizens of Boston, that is, which have thoroughly estab- 
lished themselves in this vicinity, yet have manifested a disinclination to 
spread beyond eastern New England. Some of them, however, occur in 
the seaboard districts of the Middle States. 

1 Reprinted and carefully edited, with an 1638, and came again in July, 1663, then re- 
introduction and commentaries, very important maining eight years. He passed most of 
for the botany, by Professor Edward Tucker- his time at his brother's plantation at Black 
man. Josselyn first arrived in Boston in July, Point, Scarborough, Maine. 


If Josselyn is to be trusted, various introduced plants must have taken 
wonderfully prompt possession of the new soil; for (as just mentioned) he 
enumerates St. John's wort, catmint, toad-flax, Jerusalem oak (Chenopodiiun 
Botrys), and "wood-wax, wherewith they dye many pretty colors," as indi- 
genous to the country. But most of these could assert no such claim in 
much later times ; and it is probable that either the memory or the judg- 
ment of Josselyn may have been at fault. However this may be, the 
last-mentioned plant may head the list of those introduced plants which are 
somewhat characteristic of the environs of Boston. 

Woad-waxen, or dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria), which covers 
the sterile hills between Salem and Lynn with a full glow of yellow at 
flowering-time, is very local at a few other stations, and is nearly or quite 
unknown beyond eastern New England. According to Tuckerman there is 
a tradition that it was introduced here by Governor Endicott, which may 
have been forty years before Josselyn finished his herborizing, enough to 
account for its naturalization at that period, but not enough to account for 
its being then regarded as indigenous. 

Fall dandelion (Lcontodon aiitumnali) is remarkable for its abundance 
around Boston, and its scarcity or total absence elsewhere. 

Bulbous buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus), whose deep yellow blossoms 
give a golden tinge to our meadows and pastures in the latter part of spring, 
has hardly spread beyond New England, and abounds only in eastern Mas- 
sachusetts, unlike the tall buttercup (R. acris] in this respect, which is 
diffused throughout the Northern and Middle States. 

Succory, or chichory (Cichorium Intybus}, which adorns our road- 
sides and many fields with cerulean blue at midsummer, is of rare occur- 
rence beyond this neighborhood, and when met with out of New England 
shows little disposition to spread. 

Jointed charlock (Rafhanus Raphanistnuri) is a conspicuous and trouble- 
some weed only in eastern Massachusetts. 

Bladder campion (Silene inflata), if not confined to this district, is only 
here abundant or conspicuous; and the list of such herbs could be con- 
siderably extended. 

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris} is the leading shrub of the same class. 
It is a surprise to most Bostonians to be told that it is an intruder. Beyond 
New England it is seldom seen, except as planted or as spontaneous in the 
neighborhood of dwellings, or near their former sites. 

Privet, or prim (Ligustrum vulgare), is somewhat in the same case; 
but it has obtained its principal foothold in the sea-board portion of the 
Middle States. 

The only trees which tend to naturalize themselves are one or two 
European willows, perhaps the Abele tree or white poplar, and the locust, 
the last a native of the United States farther south. 

It would much exceed our limits to specify the principal trees and shrubs 
which, by being extensively planted for shade or ornament, have con- 



spicuously supplemented 
our' indigenous vegetation. 
Most of these are of com- 
paratively recent introduc- 
tion, and the number is 
still rapidly increasing. 
One of the earliest ac- 
cessions of this kind must 
have been the English elm, 
some trees of which, in 
the Boston Mall and else- 
where, may have been only 
a century younger than 
the celebrated American 
elm, which was until re- 
cently the pride of Boston 
Common. Perhaps the 
very first introduced trees 
were the white willow and 
the Lombardy poplar, both 

1 [This cut follows a photograph taken about 
a score of years since, and before the tree was 
shorn of all its majestic proportions. The gate 
of the surrounding fence bore this inscription: 
" This Tree has been standing here for an un- 
known period. It is believed to have existed 
before the settlement of Boston, being full-grown 
in 1722, exhibited marks of old age in 1792, and 
was nearly destroyed by a storm in 1832. Pro- 
tected by an iron inclosure in 1854." The tree 
was again seriously dismembered in a storm, 
June 29, 1860. One of the remaining large 
limbs fell in another storm in September, 1869. 
Its final destruction took place Feb. 16, 1876, 
when it was broken off near the ground. Shurt- 
leff, Desc. of Boston, p. 335, says it is reasonable 
to believe it was growing before the arrival of 
the first colonists. A vague tradition, on the 
other hand, assigns its setting out to Hezekiah 
Henchman about 1670, or to his father Daniel, 
of a somewhat earlier day. No. Amer. Rev., 
July, 1844, p. 204. One hundred and ninety 
rings were counted in the great branch which 
fell in 1860. Dr. Holmes, Autocrat of the Break- 
fast Table, p. 5, puts the tree in the second rank 
of large elms, those measuring, at five feet from 
the ground, from fourteen to eighteen feet in 
girth. The measurements recorded are : In 
1825, sixty-five feet high; twenty-one feet eight 
inches girth, at two feet and a half from the 
ground ; diameter of spread, eighty-six feet. Mr. 
George B. Emerson, in his Trees and Shrubs 
growing naturally in the forests of Massachusetts, 
2d ed., 1875, vol. ii. p. 326, says : " The great elm 


on Boston Common was measured by Professor 
Gray and myself in June of 1844. At the ground 
it measures twenty-three feet six inches ; at three 
feet, seventeen feet eleven inches ; and at five 
feet, sixteen feet one inch. The largest branch, 
towards the southeast, stretches fifty-one feet." 
In 1855 it was measured by City Engineer Ches- 
borough, giving a height of seventy-two feet and 
a half, and sixteen and a half feet to the lowest 
branch ; girth, twenty-two feet and a half at one 
foot from the ground, seventeen feet at four; 
average spread of the largest branches, one 
hundred and one feet. In 1860 its measure was 
taken by Dr. Shurtleff, twenty-four feet girth 
at the ground, eighteen feet and a quarter at 
three feet, and sixteen and a half at five feet. 
After its destruction a chair was made of its 
wood, and is now in the Public Library. Pic- 
tures of it on veneer of the wood were made 
by the city, and one of them is now in the His- 
torical Society's library. Dr. J. C. Warren 
printed an account of The Great Tree in 1855; 
this and the account in Shurtleffs Desc. of Bos- 
ton, p. 332, tell the essentials of the story. The 
Rev. R. C. Waterston reviewed its associations 
in the " Story of the Old Elm " in Mass. Hist. 
Soc. Proc., March, 1876. Pictures of it since the 
application of photography are numerous; of 
the earlier ones may be mentioned those in the 
Boston Book, 1836; in Boston Common, 1838; in 
the view of the Common in Snow's Boston, 1824; 
in the Boston Book, 1850, drawn by Billings, &c. 
Shurtleff says there exists a picture of it painted 
by H. C. Pratt in 1825. ED.] 



readily brought over in the form of cuttings, both of rapid growth, and more 
valued in the days of our great grandfathers than at present. The small- 
leaved variety or species of the European linden, or lime-tree, must also 
have been planted in colonial times. The horse-chestnut, the ailantus, the 
Norway maple, and the European larch are of more recent introduction. 
The earliest Norway spruces not yet very old were imported by 
Colonel Perkins, and planted upon the grounds around what was then his 
country residence at Brookline. 

The common lilac and the snowball were planted in door-yards, where 
these for a long time were almost the only ornamental shrubs, as they still 
are around New England farm-houses. Fruit trees were of more account, 
and in greater variety. But their consideration belongs rather to the chapter 
on horticulture. 1 

1 [By the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, to appear in Vol. IV. ED.] 





Recording Secretary of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

/ "T~^HE earliest European visitors to New England, of whose alleged 
-i. voyages any account is preserved, were the Northmen, who had re- 
discovered and colonized Iceland toward the close of the ninth century. 
The following is a brief outline of the story. 

Erik, surnamed the Red, was driven from Norway with his father, on 
account of a murder, and removed to Iceland. From thence Erik sailed 
to the westward and found Greenland, which he colonized about 985. 
Among his companions was one Herjulf, who also made a settlement in 
Greenland. The son of this Herjulf, by name Bjarni, or Biarne, was absent 
in Norway when his father left Iceland, and upon his return resolved to 
follow him to Greenland. Starting about the year 990, he was driven from 
his course by northerly winds, and reached his destination only after having 
seen new and strange lands at three distinct times. 1 

Leif, the son of Erik, excited by the relation of the new lands seen 
by Biarne, prepared for a voyage of discovery about the year 1000. 
The first land he reached was the one seen last by Biarne on his return 
northward after his rough handling by the northerly storm. Leif landed, 
and "saw there no grass. Great icebergs were over all up the country; 
but like a plain of flat stones was all from the sea to the mountains, and it 
appeared to them that this land had no good qualities." 2 To this country 
they gave the name of HELLULAND (flat stone land). The second land 
seen by Leif is described as " flat and covered with wood, and white sands 

1 This Biarne is supposed to have been the Newfoundland. See Dr. Kohl's Discovery of 

first European to see the New England coast, Maine (2 Maine Hist. Soc. Coll. i.), pp. 62, 63. 
and the three lands he sighted may have been 2 Voyages of the Northmen (Prince Society), 

(it is thought) Cape Cod, Nova Scotia, and p. 31. 


were far around where they went, and the shore was low." 1 This they called 
MARKLAND (woodland). Thence they sailed with a northeast wind two 
days, and arrived at an island to the eastward of the main-land, where they 
found sweet dew upon the grass. They sailed from this island west through 
a sound or bay, and, landing, decided to build huts and spend the winter. 
This place, called Leifsbudir in the story, is thus described : " The nature 
of the country was, as they thought, so good that cattle would not require 
house-feeding in winter, for there came no frost in winter, and little did the 
grass wither there. Day and night were more equal than in Greenland or 
Iceland, for on the shortest day was the sun above the horizon from half- 
past seven in the forenoon till half-past four in the afternoon." 2 Among 
Leif's crew was a German, named Tryker, who was missing one day, and 
who, returning " not in his right senses," announced the discovery of vines 
and grapes. From this discovery Leif called the country VlNLAND. The 
party returned to Greenland not long afterward. 

Thorvald, Leif's brother, was anxious to explore Vinland further, and, 
starting about the year 1002, spent two years there. The second summer 
of his stay he went from Leifsbudir eastward, and round the land to the 
north. His vessel encountered a storm when off a ness or promontory, 
was driven ashore, and her keel broken. Thorvald called the place where 
this happened KjALARNESS. Thence he sailed " round the eastern shores 
of the land, and into the mouths of the friths which lay nearest thereto, 
and to a point of land which stretched out, and was covered all over with 
wood." 3 Here he had an encounter with the natives, and received a 
mortal wound. He gave his men directions to bury him, setting up crosses 
at his head and feet, and to call the place KROSSANESS. Thorvald's com- 
panions, after another winter spent at Leifsbudir, returned home in the 

Thorfinn Karlsefne prepared an expedition which started probably in 
1008, and was absent about three years. It was an important one, com- 
prising three vessels and one hundred and sixty persons, and was planned 
to establish a colony in Vinland. There are three accounts of it, with some 
variations in details and some repetitions of parts of the story, just narrated, 
of Leif. Helluland and Markland are reached and named ; a promontory, 
on which a keel of a boat is found, is called KjALARNESS, the name 
which had been previously given to it by Thorvald, and the sandy 
beaches along it FURDUSTRANDS. An island covered with a vast number 
of eider-ducks' eggs is named STRAUMSEY, and at last Thorfinn builds 
winter quarters not far from Leifsbudir, but on the opposite side of the bay, 
at a place which he calls H6p. After some traffic with the natives and 
some expeditions of exploration, the Northmen, in the third winter, find 
" that although the land had many good qualities, still would they be always 
exposed there to the fear of hostilities from the earlier inhabitants," 4 and 
the settlement is abandoned. 

1 Voyages of the Northmen (Prince Society), p. 31. 2 Ibid. p. 33. 8 Ibid p. 38. 4 Ibid. p. 58. 


Other voyages to Vinland took place, and it is supposed that there were 
several settlements, and even regular trade with Greenland and Iceland ; 
but in time all knowledge of the new country was lost 

The accounts of these voyages of the Northmen remained the subject 
of oral tradition for nearly two centuries. They were handed down, how- 
ever, as precious heirlooms, and were preserved by successions of pro- 
fessional skalds and saga-men. Whatever variations and additions may 
have been incorporated into their stories by successive narrators, a founda- 
tion of facts and real events is supposed to have remained unchanged. 

Although known in a somewhat general way, it was not until 1837 that 
these Sagas were published. 
In that year the Sagas of 
Erik the Red and of Thor- 
finn Karlsefne, with other 
homogeneous materials, 
were printed at Copenhagen 
in the original Icelandic, 
and in two translations, 
Danish and Latin, by the 
Royal Society of Northern 
Antiquaries under the able 
editorship of Professor 
Charles Christian Rafn. 1 
An English translation of 
the portions relating to Am- 
erica was published in Lon- 
don in 1841 by Mr. North 
Ludlow Beamish; and this 
translation, with Professor 
Rafn's synopsis of evidence, and his attempts to identify the places visited, 
was incorporated among the publications of the Prince Society in 1877, 
under the care of the Rev. Edmund F. Slaftcr. Mr. De Costa had already 
collected in an English dress the various narratives of these voyages in his 
Pre-Columbian Discovery of America, published at Albany in 1868. 

The accounts of these voyages of the Northmen have been rejected 
by a few writers as unworthy of serious consideration, 2 and accepted by 
others as true and accurate in their minute particulars. 3 Helluland has 
been identified with Newfoundland; Markland with Nova Scotia; Kjalar- 
ness with Cape Cod. Krossaness is to some Gurnet Point, to others Point 
Allerton. Leifsbiidir and Furdustrands, Straumsey, and Hop have been 
assigned definite locations on the map. 

1 Anliquitates Americana, sh-e Scriptores Sf/>- ' 2 As by Mr. Bancroft, who styles them " myth- 

li-iilrionalt-* Rcrnm Ante-Coltimlnnnanitn in ological in form and obscure in meaning." 
America, a noble 410 volume of over 500 pages, 3 As by the Danish antiquaries and their fol- 

enriched with fac-similes of the manuscripts, lowers. A project is on foot to erect in Boston a 

genealogical tables, maps, and engravings. statue to Leif as the discoverer of this region. 
VOL. I. 4. 



Two kinds of evidence have been brought forward to support the stories 
of these voyages. The first that furnished by supposed remains of the 
Northmen still extant in New England is not now often advanced. It is 
generally conceded that no vestiges of their visits remain. The famous Digh- 
ton Rock and the Newport Mill, offered once as positive proofs of the truth 
of these stories, are no longer thought to be works of the Northmen. 1 The 
evidence upon which modern defenders of the narratives rely is that offered 
by the Sagas themselves. I have no space here to discuss the character 
of these documents. 2 It is possible only now to say that, while they are ac- 
cepted generally as historical narratives by most historians, the data which 
they offer for the identification of places are considered by many scholars 
as too slight to warrant the conclusions sometimes drawn from them. The 
direction of the wind and the time occupied in sailing from point to point 
are not enough to prove the exact position of the place reached. The 
descriptions of the countries are not thought by all to be applicable to New 
England. The astronomical observation of the length of the winter day, on 
which so much stress has been laid, is still obscure, and capable of more 
than one interpretation. 3 Some argument has been based on the supposed 
similarity of Indian and Norse names of places, but no great stress has been 
laid upon it. 4 While, then, it is very probable that the Northmen reached 
America, it is not safe to assert that they discovered Massachusetts Bay, 
much less so to say that Thorvald, Erik's son, was killed at the mouth of 
Boston Harbor. 5 

It is not my purpose to recount all the supposed pre-Columbian discoveries 
of America. Only the voyagers who are thought to have visited New England 
claim notice here. 6 I pass by, therefore, the story of the discoveries of the 
Welsh Prince Madoc ap Owen Gwyneth. He is supposed to have reached 

1 See an excellent note in Dr. Palfrey's Hist, lished critically] I fancy a person who knows 
of New England, i. 55. the natural appearance of the coast of Labrador, 

2 The interested reader may be referred to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, &c., will be able to 
Wheaton's History of the Northmen, ch. v. ; ascertain the places tolerably correctly from the 
Laing's Heimskringla, introduction; Sir George descriptions given of each of them in the Sagas; 
W. Dasent's introduction to his Njal's Saga, never from the length of the shortest day, it 
Story of Burnt Njal '; Slafter's introduction to being liable to so different interpretation." 

the Prince Society's Voyages of the Northmen ; 4 Antiquitatcs Americans, p. 455 ; Proe. Afass. 

and to the Prolegomena to Vigfussen's Stur- Hist. Soc., February, 1865, pp. 193-199. 

lunga Saga. 5 Krossaness, the place of Thorvald's death 

8 See Laing's Heimskringla, \. 172; Foreign and grave, has been identified with Point Aller- 

Qnarterly Review, xxi. 109, no; Palfrey's Nno ton by Rafn (Antiquitates Americans, pp. 430, 

England, i. 55, note; Cleasby and Vigfussen's 431). who leans more, however, toward Gurnet 

Icelandic-English Dictionary, s. t: Eykt. The Point, and by Dr. Kohl (Discovery of Maine, 

arguments of Finn Magnusen and Rafn are in p. 69). See also Bryant's Popular History 

the Memoires of the Danish Antiquaries' Society, of the United States, i. 44, note. The French 

1836-39, p. 165, and 1840-44, p. 128. The fol- translation of Wheaton's History of the Norlh- 

lowing extract from a letter written by the great men, made by Paul Guillot and sanctioned by 

philologist, Erasmus Rask, in 1831,10 Mr. Henry Mr. Wheaton, leans also toward this view. 

Wheaton is not without interest. I have printed fi Mr. Major's introduction to the Select Lct- 

the whole letter in the Proceedings of the Massa- ters of Columbus (Ilakluyt Society, 2d edition, 

chusetts Historical Society for April, 1880: "Then 1870), contains a good account of the earliest 

[when the text of the Sagas shall have been pub- voyages to America. 


only the southern parts of the United States, or perhaps Mexico. I come 
next to the story of the Zeni brothers, which is briefly as follows : 

Nicolo Zeno, a Venetian of noble family and considerable wealth, started 
on a northern voyage perhaps the not uncommon one to Flanders late in 
the fourteenth century. 1 He was driven out of his course, and finally cast 
away on the island of Frislanda (Faroe Islands). Here he was rescued from 
the rude inhabitants by a chieftain named Zichmni, 2 who received him into 
his service as pilot, and in time entertained a great regard for him. Nicolo 
sent a letter home to Venice, urging his brother Antonio to join him in 
Zichmni's dominions, which he did. Four years after his arrival Nicol6 
died, and ten years later Antonio returned to his native city. 

Meantime the brothers had accompanied Zichmni in an attack on the 
Shetland Islands, on one of which, according to the narrative, Nicolo Zeno 
was left after the victory. The following summer he sailed from the island 
on a voyage of discovery toward the north, and reached a country called 
Engroneland (Greenland). A settlement which he discovered there, sup- 
posed to have been one founded many years before by the Northmen, is 
described at length in the story, with its monastery and church, its volcanic 
mountain, and hot springs whose waters served for all domestic purposes. 
The climate proved too severe for the Italian, and he returned to Frislanda, 
where he died. 

The other brother, Antonio Zeno, was detained in the service of Zichmni, 
who desired to make use of his nautical skill and daring to ascertain the 
correctness of the stories of some fishermen who had reported the discovery 
of rich and populous countries in the west. The Zeni narrative gives the 
fishermen's story at some length. Twenty-six years before this time, four 
fishing boats had been driven helplessly for many days, and found them- 
selves, on the tempest abating, at an island a thousand miles west from 
Frislanda. This island they called EsTOTILAND. The fishermen were 
carried before the king of the island, who, after getting speech with them 
with difficulty through the medium of an interpreter who spoke Latin, com- 
manded them to remain in the country. They dwelt in Estotiland five 
years, and a description of it and of its inhabitants is preserved. From 
Estotiland they were sent in a southerly direction to a country called 
DROGEO, where they fared very badly. They were made slaves, and 
some of them were murdered by the natives, who were cannibals. The 
lives of the remainder were saved by their showing the savages how to take 
fish with the net. The chief of the fishermen became very famous in this 
occupation, and proved a bone of contention among the native kings. He 
was fought for, and transferred from one to another as the spoils of war, 

1 The date given in the narrative is 1380, and pp. xlii.-xlviii., that a mistake of ten years has 

this date, incompatible with some of the inci- been made, and that Nicolo Zeno's journey took 

dents of the story, has been a serious obstacle in place in 1390. 

the way of accepting the adventures of the Zeni. 2 Mr. Forster suggests, and Mr. Major ac- 

Mr. R. H. Major has shown, in his introduction cepts the suggestion, that Zichmni was Henry 

to the Ilakluyt Society's reprint of the Voyages, Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and Caithness. 


not less than twenty-five times in the thirteen years which he is supposed 
to have passed in Drogeo. In this way he saw much of the country, 
which he*says became more refined in climate and in people as he travelled 
toward the southwest. At last the fisherman escaped back through the 
length of the land, and over the sea to Estotiland, where he amassed a 
fortune in trading, and whence he returned finally to Frislanda with his 
wonderful story. 

The narrative goes on to tell how Antonio Zeno accompanied his patron 
Zichmni on a voyage of discovery to find Estotiland and Drogeo ; how the 
fisherman, who was to have been their guide, died just as the expedition was 
ready to sail; how the vessels encountered a severe storm, and were driven 
to an island called Icaria, 1 where they were refused shelter by the inhabit- 
ants. After six days' further sail westward the wind shifted to the southwest, 
and four days' journey with the wind aft brought the fleet to Greenland. 
Here Zichmni decided to establish a settlement, but some of his followers 
having become anxious to return home, he agreed to send them back under 
the charge of Antonio Zeno, who brought them safely to Frislanda. 

I have given a full outline of the story of the Zeni, suppressing none 
of its exaggerations. The narrative was published with a map, on which 
much reliance is placed in the identification of places. The countries called 
Estotiland and Drogeo are supposed with some probability, if the story 
is not an absolute fabrication, to have been part of America. Dr. Kohl 
thinks the former Nova Scotia, and Drogeo New England. Mr. Major 
prefers Newfoundland for Estotiland, and considers Drogeo, " subject to 
such sophistications as the word may have undergone in its perilous trans- 
mission from the tongues of Indians vid the northern fisherman's repetition 
to the ear of the Venetian, and its subsequent transfer to paper," a native 
name for a large part of North America. 2 Many historians reject the 
narrative entirely. The difficulties attending the identification of particular 
places are certainly great. 

The bibliography of the controversy about the Zeni voyages is given by 
Mr. Winsor in the Bulletin of the Boston Public Library, No. 37, for April, 
1876. The strongest opponent of the narrative has been perhaps Admiral 
Zahrtmann ; 3 its strongest upholders Cardinal Zurla, John Reinhold Forstcr, 

1 Icaria has been supposed to be some part by that name in the chart of the Zeni is the 
of America, Dr. Kohl thinks Newfoundland. Feroe Islands. 

Mr. Major, following Mr. Forster, identifies it " Second. That the said chart has been com- 

with Kerry in Ireland, and gives some reasons piled from hearsay information, and not by any 

for his opinion. seaman who had himself navigated in those seas 

2 Voyngesofthc Zetfi(\\*k\\\<j\. Society), p. xcv. for several years. 

Dr. Kohl's views are given in his Discovery of "Third. That the 'History of the Voyages 

Maine, pp. 105, 106. of the Zeni,' more particularly that part of it 

3 The following summary of Admiral Zahrt- which relates to Nicolo, is so replete with 
mann's essay is taken from Mr. J. Winter Jones's fiction that it cannot l)e looked to for any infor- 
introduction to the Hakluyt Society's reprint of mation whatever as to the state of the north at 
Hakluyt's Divers Voyages, pp. xciii, xciv. The that time. 

admiral contends, " Fourth. That both the history and the chart 

" First. That there never existed an island of were most probably compiled by Nicolo, a de- 

Frisland ; but that what has been represented scendant of the Zeni, from accounts which came 


and Mr. Major. Nothing of importance has appeared, I think, since the 
Hakluyt Society of London reprinted the original narrative, with an English 
translation and an elaborate introduction by Mr. Major, in 1873. Mr, Major 
contributed a re'sume' of his editorial labors in this work to the Massachu- 
setts Historical Society, which is printed in their Proceedings for October, 
1874. The original narrative, founded on a letter from Nicolo Zeno to his 
brother Antonio, and on subsequent letters from Antonio to a third brother, 
Carlo, is said to have been prepared by Antonio after his return to 
Venice. It was preserved in manuscript among the family papers until 
a descendant, also named Nicolo, while still a boy, partially destroyed it. 
From what escaped of the papers, this Nicolo Zeno the younger afterward 
rewrote the narrative, which with a map copied from one much decayed, 
found in the family palace, was published in 1558 by Francisco Marcolini 
at Venice. It is a small I2mo volume of sixty-three leaves, and contains, 
besides this narrative, the adventures of another member of the family, 
Caterino Zeno, who made a journey into Persia. It was reprinted in the 
third edition of the second volume of Ramusio's Collection of Voyages, 
Venice, 1574; and Hakluyt included a translation of this in his Divers 
Voyages, published in 1582. 

The story of the voyages of the Cabots, which come next in the list of 
the early voyages, requires a different treatment from that pursued in con- 
sidering the stories of the Northmen and the Zeni. Instead of having to 
condense a detailed narrative, real or fictitious, I am called upon to con- 
struct, if possible, a connected story from very scanty and very scattered 
materials, many of them of doubtful value. These voyages of the Cabots 
present great difficulties, and have given rise to much discussion. To 
recapitulate even a small part of this discussion would overrun the limits 
of my space. It is only within a few years, since the publication of the 
researches of Mr. Rawdon Brown and Mr. Bergenroth among the archives 
of Venice and of Spain, that positive evidence has been brought to light 
which enables the historian to settle beyond reasonable doubt even such 
fundamental points as the date of the voyage in which the main-land of 
America was discovered, and the name of the commander. To John Cabot 
this honor is due; and he saw the coast of North America, June 24, 1497, 
more than a year before Columbus reached the main-land. 

John Cabot, a native of Genoa, or of some neighboring village, 1 settled 
in Venice, where he obtained a grant of citizenship from the Senate, after 
a residence of fifteen years, March 29, I476. 2 He was a man of some 
acquirements in cosmography and the science of navigation, and had been 
a traveller in the East. 3 He married in Venice, and there probably his 

to Italy in the middle of the sixteenth century, 1 Letter of M. D'Avezac, 2 Maine Hist. Soc. 

being the epoch when information respecting Coll. \. 504. 

Greenland first reached that country, and when 2 Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, 1202- 

interest was awakened for the colony which had 1509, p. 136. 

disappeared." 3 M. D'Avezac's letter, p. 505. He cites an 

Mr. Winter Jones expresses his own convic- Italian authority without giving the name, 
tion of the conclusiveness of the argument. 


second son Sebastian was born. 1 John Cabot emigrated with his family 
from Venice to England, where he settled in Bristol, then, next to London, 
the most flourishing seaport of the kingdom and a great resort for mer- 
chants and navigators. It was already possessed of a trade with Iceland, 
and was favorably situated for exploring voyages in search of Kathay. 2 
The date of this removal to England is uncertain, but it was probably about 
the year I477, 3 when Sebastian Cabot, if born at all, was a very young 
child. The object of the removal is supposed to have been the embarking 
in mercantile pursuits, in which many foreigners were then engaged in 
Bristol. 4 

That voyages from Bristol toward the west in search of new countries or 
of a new route to Kathay were not unusual, and that John Cabot was a mov- 
ing spirit in some of these voyages, appear from a despatch of the Span- 
ish ambassador in England to his sovereigns. Under date of July 25, 1498, 
he writes : " The people of Bristol have, for the last seven years, sent out 
every year two, three, or four light ships (caravclas) in search of the island 
of Brazil and the Seven Cities, according to the fancy of the Genoese." 5 

Possibly some encouraging result was obtained in one of these pre- 
liminary voyages, if I may call them by that name. It is certain that 
application was made to King Henry VII. for aid, and that a patent was 
issued to John Cabot and his three sons by name, bearing date March 5, 
1496, by which they were authorized to discover new lands for the king, 
to set up his ensigns therein, and they were granted, under restrictions, 
some control over future trade with such new countries. 6 By this patent 
the Cabots were to bear all the expenses of the voyage ; and this may have 
caused the delay of a year in the sailing of the expedition, which did not 
leave Bristol until the following spring. The name of one vessel, the 
" Matthew," has come down to us. With this vessel John Cabot, accompanied 
by Sebastian, reached some point in America, most probably Cape Breton, 
on June 24, 1497.* No long stay could have been made ; for the " Matthew," 

1 M. D'Avezac's letter, p. 505. Sebastian American Antiquarian Society, October, 1865, 
Cabot is said to have made contradictory state- p. 25. [These islands belong to the myths which 
ments as to the place of his birth, having told puzzled the early cartographers. Brazil or 
Eden (Decades, p. 255) that he was born in Bresil was usually represented as lying two 
Bristol, and Contarini (Letter in Calendar of State or three hundred miles off the coast of Ireland. 
Papers, Venetian, 1520-1526, p. 293) that he was It is said not to have disappeared from the 
a Venetian. The date of his birth can be only British Admiralty charts till within ten years, 
approximated. He accompanied his father on The Seven Cities had a floating station, but was 
the voyage of 1497, and assisted a "good olde usually put down farther to the south. ED.] 
gentleman " at wishing God-speed to Stephen 6 The patent, in Latin and English, is in 
Burrough in the "Search-thrift" in 1556. See Hakluyt's Divers Voyages (reprinted by the 
HzM\\\i's Principal Navigations (1599), i. 274. Hakluyt Society in 1850). It is also in his 

2 Dr. Kohl, Discovery of Maine, ch. iii. ; Principal Navigations, ed. 1589, pp. 509, 510, 
Corry, Hist, of Bristol, i. ch. v. and again in the 1599-1600 edition, iii. 4, 5. It 

3 M. D'Avezac (Letter, p. 505) says 1477; has been reprinted by Hazard and others. 

Dr. Kohl (Discovery of Maine, p. 123) says prob- 7 There is some difference of opinion as to 

ably before 1490. the landfall of the Cabots, but the l>est evidence 

4 Nicholls, Life of Sebastian Cabot, p. 18. points to Cape Breton. See J. C. Brevoort's 

5 This letter is published, from the English article in the Historical Magazine, March, 1868; 
State Paper Calendars, in the Proceedings of the F. Kidder's contribution to the New England 


after sailing along the coast three hundred leagues, was back in Bristol 
early in August, as appears from a letter of a Venetian gentleman, and 
from the entry in the privy-purse expenses of a payment of ;io "to him 
that found the new isle." 1 

A second patent or license was issued to John Cabot the next year (Feb. 
3, 1498), in which he was authorized to impress six vessels, and "them 
convey and lead to the land and isles of late found by the said John in our 
name and by our commandment." 2 John Cabot does not appear to have 
profited by this license. He is said to disappear from history at this point. 3 
He is supposed to have died soon after the grant was made. Sebastian 
Cabot sailed in 1498 under this license, the king having been at the charge 
of one vessel of the fleet. He is supposed to have taken out at least three 
hundred men, and to have entertained some plan of a colony or settlement. 4 
What the exact events of this voyage were, how much of the coast of North 
America was explored, yet remain uncertain. There is no contemporary 
account of the voyage, and what we find which may possibly relate to it 
presents many difficulties, and is, in part at least, of doubtful character. It 
is probable that Cabot reached in this voyage a high degree of latitude, 
seeking always a passage through the land to Kathay. It is possible that, 
as Dr. Kohl suggests, finding the coast trend to the East at the modern 
Cumberland, which answers to the highest latitude which any of the stories 
state him to have attained, and finding also his way blocked by heavy ice, 
he may have turned and run down the American coast to the south. The 
farthest point in this direction which he is supposed to have reached was 
in the latitude of the Straits of Gibraltar, 36 north. 5 

Historical and Genealogical Register, October, 
1878; H. Stevens's Sebastian Cahot John 
Cabot = o ; and Mr. Deane's paper on Cabot's 
" Mappe Monde " in the Proceedings of the 
American Antiquarian Society for April, 1867, 
where the earliest suggestion of Cape Breton 
(drawn from the map) is made. 

1 The patents issued to John Cabot ; the de- 
spatch of the Spanish Ambassador quoted above ; 
the letter of the Venetian gentleman Lorenzo 
Fasqualigo (Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, 
1202-1509, p. 262, and reprinted with other doc- 
uments in Proceedings Amer. Antiq. Society, 
October, 1865); and Cabot's "Mappe Monde," 
published by M. Jomard, are ample evidence for 
the truth of the voyage of 1497. The map should 
be examined with the aid of Mr. Deane's learned 
comments on it, made to the meeting of the Anti- 
quarian Society in April, 1867, and of his careful 
note to the Ilakluyt Discourse on Western Plant- 
ing (Maine Hist. Soc., 2d series, ii. 223-227) ; 
and Mr. Major's contribution to the Archaologia, 
xliii. 17-42, on the "True date of the English 
Discovery of the American Continent under 
John and Sebastian Cabot." M. D'Ave/ac 
adhered to his early belief in a voyage of 1494. 

See his letter in Dr. Kohl's Discovery of Maine, 
pp. 502-514. 

2 Biddle, Memoir of Sebastian Cabot, p. 76. 

8 Unless the Spanish Ambassador's despatch 
gives trace of him : " I have seen the map "which 
the discoverer has made ; who is another Genoese, 
like Columbus. . . . The Genoese has continued 
his voyage." The date of the despatch is July 
25, 1498, and Sebastian Cabot is supposed to 
have sailed on the second voyage early in the 
spring. But dates and all other particulars of 
this voyage are uncertain. That the expedition 
had started before the despatch was written is 
certain from the despatch itself, and from the 
passage in the Cotton MSS. See Mr. Hale's 
paper in the Antiquarian Society's Proceeding!;, 
April, 1860, p. 37. 

4 Biddle, Cabot, p. 87. 

6 From the scanty original authorities for the 
voyages of Sebastian Cabot many elaborate ac- 
counts have been built. Mr. Biddle, in his valu- 
able Memoir, gives an account of a third voyage 
in 1517, and M. D'Ave/ac agrees with him. Dr. 
Kohl thinks that this voyage never took place, 
and he is followed by other critics. The reader 
must be referred to Kohl's Discovery of Mains. 


The voyages of the Cabots were barren of immediate results. The 
claim of England to her North American territory rested upon them 
finally, but no present advantage accrued to their commander. Sebastian 
Cabot's subsequent career does not fall within the scope of this chapter. 
It is known that he lived for many years after his discoveries, serving 
successively Spain and England. He entered the service of the former in 
I5I2, 1 and was advanced to the dignity of Grand Pilot in 1518. In this 
capacity he presided at the celebrated Congress of Badajos in 1524. Two 
years later he sailed for the Moluccas in command of an expedition which 
did not result successfully. He returned to England about 1548, and was 
granted a pension by Edward VI. the next year. He became Governor of 
the new Company of Merchant Adventurers, who opened the trade to Russia. 
The date of his death is uncertain and the place of his burial unknown. 2 

I must pass over, without relating their stories, the voyages of the Cor- 
tereals in 1500 and 1501. Mr. Biddle thinks that Caspar Cortereal's landfall 
was in New England, 3 but Dr. Kohl, who has made a careful study of these 
voyages, places it to the north of Cape Race. The interested reader will 
find in the fifth chapter of Dr. Kohl's Discovery of Maine the fullest and 
latest information regarding the Cortereal voyages. 

I approach next the voyage of Verrazano, whose narrative is said to 
contain the earliest particular description of the eastern coast of North 
America. 4 Giovanni Verrazano, an Italian in the service of Francis I. of 
France, had made for that monarch some predatory voyages with a view 
to Spanish Indian commerce, and possibly one or more voyages in search 
of new countries. 5 On his return from one of these latter voyages he wrote 
to the King from Dieppe, July 8, 1524, an account of his discovery and 
exploration of a new country. His letter relates that with one ship, the 
"Dauphine," well manned and equipped, he sailed westward from the Ma- 
deira Islands about June 17 (27), 1524. He encountered a severe tempest, 
from which he escaped with difficulty, and at length, after a voyage of forty- 
nine days, he came in sight of a land hitherto unknown to navigators. 6 First 
he coasted to the south in search of a harbor, but finding none he turned 
about, and running beyond the point of his landfall, anchored and sent a 
boat ashore. 7 Continuing northward along the coast, a second landing 
was attempted, and a youth who was cast upon the shore in the attempt 
was kindly received and cared for by the natives. 8 Their kindness was 

1 Biddle, Cabot, p. 98. 6 Dr. Kohl places Verrazano's landfall at 

2 The character of the times, if not of the Cape Fear (Discovery of Maine, p. 252); Mr. J. 
man, is shown by Cabot's intrigues with Venice, Winter Jones, in the neighborhood of Charleston 
of which we get glimpses in the Calendar of or Savannah (Hakluyt Society's Divers Voyages, 
State Papers, Venetian, 1520-1526, pp. 278, 293- p. 56) ; Mr. Brevoort, off Little Egg Harbor beach 
295, 304, 315,328; and also in the volume 1534- (Verrazano the Navigator, p. 37). 

1554, p. 364. 7 At Onslow Bay, near New River Inlet; 

3 Biddle, Cabot, book ii. ch. iv. Discovery of A f nine, p. 254. 

4 Hakluyt, Divers Voyages (Hakluyt Soc. 8 Dr. Kohl and Mr. Jones place this incident 
ed.), p. Ixxxviii. at Kalcigh Bay; Mr. Brevoort, at Rockaway 

6 Brevoort, Verrazano the Navigator, pp. 19,35. Beach, Long Island. 


repaid by the abduction by the French, at their next landing, of an Indian 
boy. 1 Verrazano describes a harbor, a pleasant place among small hills, in 
the midst of which a great stream of water ran down into the sea ; so deep 
at its mouth that any great vessel might pass into it. 2 From this harbor 
the shore line was followed to the eastward, and at a distance of fifty 
leagues an island was discovered and called Louisa, the only place named 
by Verrazano. 3 Fifteen leagues from Louisa Island the explorer found 
a good harbor, where he remained two weeks, and became somewhat 
acquainted with the natives, of whose manners and customs he gives an 
account. 4 From this point the voyage was continued, and another landing 
made, where the natives were found much more savage than those before 
seen, and where the Europeans were roughly received. 6 At last the land 
" discovered by the Britons, which is in fifty degrees " 6 was reached, and 
then, having spent all their provisions, the expedition sailed for France. 

The story of Verrazano's voyage contained in the letter from the explorer 
to the King already mentioned was first printed by Ramusio in the third 
volume of his Collection of Voyages in 1556. From this it was translated 
by Hakluyt for his Divers Voyages, published in 1582. A manuscript 
copy of the letter, differing in some particulars from Ramusio's printed 
text, and containing a cosmographical appendix, 7 was found later in the 
Magliabecchian Library at Florence. This was printed, with a translation 
by Dr. Joseph G. Cogswell, in the Collections of the New York Historical 
Society in 1841 (2d series, i. 3 7-68), 8 and the translation was incorporated 
by Dr. Asher into his Henry Hudson the Navigator, published by the 
Hakluyt Society in 1860 (pp. 197-228). With the Magliabecchian manu- 
script there was found a letter from Fernando Carli to his father, from 
Lyons, dated Aug. 4, 1524, in which he transmits the copy of Verrazano's 
letter. 9 There exists no French original of this letter. 

This narrative has been generally considered as worthy of credit until 
a few years ago, when its authenticity was attacked by Mr. Buckingham 
Smith, who accounted the whole letter a fraud. Mr. Smith's view has been 
followed and supported by Mr. Henry C. Murphy, who published an 

1 Somewhere on the Delaware coast (Jones) ; been identified with Narragansett Bay, and 
or south of it (Dr. Kohl); or on Long Island particularly with Newport. 

(Brevoort). 5 Not far from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 

2 Identified generally with New York Har- according to Dr. Kohl and Mr. Jones. Mr. Bre- 
bor and the Hudson River. See Dr. Kohl's voort places this landing between Nahant and 
Disccrcery of Maine, pp. 256-258 ; Hakluyt So- Cape Ann. 

ciety's edition, Divers Voyages, p. 63; Asher's 6 Hakluyt Society's edition, Divers Voyages, 

Henry Hudson the Navigator, p. 211, note. But p. 71. 

Brevoort thinks that this description applies to ~* Dr. Asher considers this appendix a very 

the mouth of the Thames in Connecticut (Ver- important document (Henry Hudson the Navi- 

razano the Navigator, p. 43), and identifies New gator, pp. 198, 199, 222, note). 

York with a point reached earlier (Ibid. p. 40). 8 See also Professor G. W. Greene's article 

3 Block Island (Brevoort, p. -4-3) ; Martha's in the North American Review, xlv. 293. 
Vineyard (Dr. Kohl, p. 260, and Mr. Jones, 9 Carli's letter is in Buckingham Smith's 
p 64). Inquiry, pp. 27-30; H. C. Murphy's Voynge of 

4 Verrazano's letter says that this harbor Verrazzano, pp. 17-19; and in Brevoorl's Verm- 
was in the parallel of Rome, 41 40'. It has zano the Navigator, pp. 151-153- 

VOL. I. 5. 


elaborate monograph on the subject in 1875. On the other side, the 
genuineness of the letter has been maintained by Mr. J. C. Brevoort, whose 
Verrazano the Navigator, read before the American Geographical Society 
in November, 1871, was printed in 1874; by Mr. Major, who reviewed Mr. 
Murphy's book in the Geographical Magazine (London) for July 1876; 
and by Mr. De Costa in articles in the Magazine of American History for 
February, May, and August, 1878, and for January, 1879. 

Mr. Murphy thinks that the Verrazano letter was concocted to increase 
the glory of Florence, and that its geography was taken from the dis- 
coveries made by Gomez, whose voyage I shall touch upon next. In the 
discussion of this, as of all early voyages, much depends upon the maps. 
There is a Verrazano map preserved in Rome, supposed to have been 
made by a brother of the navigator; and Hakluyt speaks of an " olde 
mappe in parchmente, made as yt shoulde seme by Verarsanus," and of a 
" globe in the Queene's privie gallery at Westminster, which also semeth to 
be of Verarsanus' mekinge." J I have purposely avoided touching upon 
the maps of these early voyages, as the early cartography of this region will 
be treated in a succeeding chapter. Mr.- Deane's note to the passages cited 
from Hakluyt's Discourse (pp. 216-219) should be consulted. Mr. De 
Costa, in his contribution to the Magazine of American History for August, 
1878, gives for the first time the names on the American section of the 
Verrazano map. 

Much doubt hangs over the subsequent career of Verrazano. He is 
said to have made a second voyage to America, and to have been 'killed by 
the savages here. He is said also to have been taken by the Spaniards 
and hanged as a pirate. The reader must consult the works of Murphy 
and Brevoort, where all that can be said is related. 

The year following Verrazano's voyage, but, so far as is known, without 
any connection with it, Estevan Gomez, a Portuguese by birth, who had 
served Spain as pilot, and had been a member of the Congress of Badajos, 
sailed in search of a passage to India less difficult than that discovered by 
Magellan in 1520. Gomez had been of Magellan's expedition, but had 
deserted his commander and returned home. There is no narrative of his 
voyage. It is uncertain where he landed, and whether he sailed up or 
down the American coast. Dr. Kohl has examined more carefully than 
any one else the various allusions to this voyage, and its results as laid 
down on the maps. 2 His opinion is that Gomez struck the coast toward 
the North and sailed along it southward as far as the fortieth or forty-first 
parallel of latitude. He saw, probably, much of the New England coast, 
and may have entered many bay's and even harbors, for his voyage lasted 
ten months. A map of the world made in 1529 by Diego Ribero, the 
imperial cosmographer, gives the name " ticrra de Estevan Gomez " to that 
part of America answering nearly to New England and Nova Scotia. 

1 Discourse on Western Planting (2 Maine 2 Disco-scry of Maine, pp. 271-281, and ap- 

llist. Soc. ii. 113, 114). pendix to chapter viii. 


For some time nothing seems to have been done in England, after 
Cabot's discovery, in the way of exploration of the new continent. I am 
inclined to reject the voyage of 1517 under the supposed command of 
Sebastian Cabot and Sir Thomas Part. 1 But in 1527 two ships, the " Mary 
of Guilford " and the " Samson," sailed for the New World under the command 
of John Rut. The object of the expedition was probably the discovery of 
a northwest passage. One vessel, the " Samson," was lost; the other is said 
to have visited parts of the American coast, and Dr. Kohl supposes that 
she carried the first Europeans who are known to have trodden the shores 
of Maine. 2 No detailed account of this voyage exists beyond Rut's letter 
from Newfoundland to the King, which is very meagre. 3 It has been 
supposed by some that Verrazano was the pilot, and that he lost his life 
in this voyage. 

Rut's expedition was followed in 1536 by that of " Master Hore," under- 
taken with the same object and very tragic in its details. 4 After this 
unfortunate experience, the attention of the English was directed for a time 
to attempts to find a passage to Kathay by the northeast, in one of which 
Willoughby met his sad fate. 

Andre Thevet, a Franciscan monk who accompanied Villegagnon's 
expedition to Brazil, is said to have sailed along the American coast on 
his return voyage to Europe in 1556. In his works written after his arrival 
home he gives a description of Norumbega, which Dr. Kohl considers 
interesting. 5 But Thevet has not been esteemed a trustworthy authority, 
and much doubt exists as to his visit to New England. 6 

The French expeditions to Canada under Cartier and Roberval, the 
Huguenot colony in Florida, and the discoveries of the Spaniards and 
others at the southward do not come within the scope of this chapter. 
After the English had turned their attention to the search for a northeast 
passage, the idea of further exploration of America slumbered for many 
years. The plan of colonization was not yet conceived. Later in this same 
sixteenth century, however, England awakened to the value of the Ameri- 
can possessions which she might claim under the discovery of Cabot. Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert wrote a treatise to prove the possibility of a northwest 
passage in 1576, and lost his life seven years later in an attempt to estab- 
lish England's supremacy in the Western World. And Richard Hakluyt, 
after publishing in 1582 his Divers Voyages, prepared in 1584 an elabo- 
rate Discourse on Western Planting, in aid of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was 
Gilbert's successor in the scheme for American colonization. 

1 See Dr. Kohl's argument in Discovery of 3 Purchas, Pilgrimes, iii. 809. 

Maine, pp. 206-225. The opposite view is main- 4 For Here's voyage see Dr. Asher's intro- 

tained by Bidclle, Memoir ofS. Cabot, chs. xiii.-xv. duction to Henry Hudson the Navigator, p. xcv ; 

2 Discovery of Maine, pp. 281-289. Mr. De Dr. Kohl, Diswery of Maine, pp. 337-340; 
Costa controverts Dr. Kohl's claim that Rut Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, iii. 129-131. 
landed in Maine, Northmen in Alaiite, pp. 43-62. 5 Discor'ery of ATaine, pp. 416-420. 

In the same volume, pp. 80-122, he asserts for Northmen in Maine, pp. 63-79; Hakluyt, 

Jean Allefonsce the honor of the discovery of Western Planting, pp. 184, 185. 
Massachusetts Bay. 


Dr. Palfrey, after recounting these early voyages, when he comes to 
the story of Gosnold's expedition,. says, with that admirable caution which 
is characteristic of a true historian, " Gosnold, Brereton, and three others 
went on shore, the first Englishmen who are known to have set foot 
upon the soil of Massachusetts." 1 The twenty years that have passed 
since Dr. Palfrey wrote do not make it possible to contradict with deci- 
sion this statement. Gosnold's expedition, planned with a view to a 
settlement, took place in 1602. He landed first at a point not far from 
Cape Ann, sailed thence across the bay, and entered the harbor of 
Provincetown. Rounding the end of Cape Cod, he sailed along its 
" back side," and at last pitched the site of his colony on the small 
island of Cuttyhunk in Buzzard's Bay. Here a fort, or protected house, 
was built, and the settlement begun. It was soon abandoned, however, for 
want of proper supplies, and the " Concord," Gosnold's vessel, returned 
with the people to England, where she arrived, says her commander, 
without " one cake of bread, nor any drink but a little vinegar left." 2 

1 Palfrey, Hist, of N. ., i. 71. - Gosnold's letter to his father; Purchas, Pilgrintes, iv. 1646. 




Librarian of Harvard University. 

THE broad indentation of the New England coast, of which Cape Sable 
and Cape Cod form the outer promontories, has of late years acquired 
the name of the Gulf of Maine. In the southwest part of this expanse, 
enclosed by Cape Ann and Cape Cod, is the water which on modern 
maps is called Massachusetts Bay. This name was, however, by the earliest 
frequenters and planters, and subsequently by the settlers, confined to what 
is now called Boston Harbor. It is, moreover, probable that the name was 
even restricted to what we know as the inner harbor, if not indeed to that 
portion of it represented by Quincy Bay. 1 Chiefly upon the shores of this 
minor inlet dwelt the Massachusetts Indians, a designation borrowed, it is 
said, primarily from a hillock on the shore, the name of which was later 
given to the high eminence known to Captain John Smith and others as 
Massachusetts Mount, and to us as the Blue Hill. 2 This name Massa- 
chusetts Bay gradually extended, subsequent to the settlement, over the 
entire harbor, and finally took the range now appropriated to it. 3 It is the 
cartographical history of these waters which is the subject of this chapter. 

1 Wood, in 1634, speaks of the land on 
Quincy Bay : " This place is called Massachu- 
sets fields, where the greatest Sagamore in the 
Countrey lived before the plague, who caused 
it to be cleared for himself." 

2 The origin and significance of the name 
has given rise to some conflicting views. See 
E. E. Male's note, and a letter of J. H. Trum- 
bull in American Antiquarian Society's Proceed- 
ings, Oct. 21, 1867, p. 77. For earlier views see 
Everett's Orations, ii. 116. Ilutchinson, in 1764, 
speaks of the sachem's abode being on " a 
small hill or rising upland in the midst of a body 
of salt marsh, near to a place called Squantum ; " 
and adds, "it is known by the name of Massa- 
chusetts Hill or Mount Massachusetts to this 
day." There is a small lithographic view of 
this hillock, after a sketch by Miss Eliza Susan 

Quincy in 1827, with a distant view of Boston, 
taken from the late President Quincy's estate. 
It is in this called Moswetuset, or Sachem's Hill. 
Smith says that the plague, shortly after his 
visit, .reduced this tribe to thirty individuals, 
and of these twenty-eight were killed by neigh- 
boring tribes, leaving two, who fled the country 
till the English came. Smith's Advertisements, 
&c., in 3 Afass. Hist. Coll., vii. 16. 

3 Drake, Hist, of Boston, p. 59, says it is not 
clear when the name Massachusetts was first 
applied to the great bay. The early writers 
seemed to look upon Charles River as begin- 
ning at Point Allerton, and Smith, in 1629, makes 
that designation an alternative, "the bay of 
Massachusetts, otherwise called Charles River." 
So Dudley, in 1630, speaks of Charlestown as 
" three leagues up Charles River; " and yet, in 


The outline of the Massachusetts coast was never drawn upon any map 
so as to be recognized, except from its relative position, before John Smith 
sailed along it in 1614; but it is curious to see how, from the very begin- 
ning of explorations, the headland of Cape Cod attracted attention. 1 The 
Northmen of the tenth century left no charts known to us ; but Torfaeus, in 
his Gronlandia Antiqna, published in 1706, gives some old Icelandic delin- 
eations of the North Atlantic, which presumably may have followed some 
ancient Scandinavian charts, although made, of themselves, five or six 
hundred years after the Northmen voyages. Sigurd Stephanius, an Ice- 
lander, made such a one in 1570, but at that date more than two hundred 
years had passed since the last of these Norse voyages, if the Sagas arc to 
be believed. This map represents the promontory of Vinland (Cape 
Cod?), jutting from the main to the north and east, shaped much like a 

the same writing (" Letter to the Countess of 
Lincoln "), he connects the two names, as dis- 
tinguishing harbor from stream, " the Massa- 
chusetts Bay and Charles River." Roger Clap, 
speaking of the arrival of the first vessel of 
Winthrop's fleet, May 30, 1630, says of the 
captain of it, that he " would not bring us into 
Charles River, but put us ashore on Nantasket 
Point;" and, after going to the Charlestown pe- 
ninsula in a boat, then they went " up Charles 
River." Winthrop, i. 144, sought to make a 
distinction in 1633, when he speaks of " the 
bay, or rather the lake, for so it were more 
properly termed, the bay being that part of 
the sea without, between the two capes, Cape 
Cod and Cape Ann." On Wood's map, 1634, 
the name is given as if it covered the great bay; 
but this was for the engraver's convenience prob- 
ably, for in his text he says, " the chiefe and 
usuall Harbour is the still Bay of Massachusets, 
which is close aboard the plantations, in which 
most of our ships come to anchor." The bill 
of lading of 1632, given later in .this volume, 
signifies Boston by the " aforesaid port of Mas- 
sachuset Bay." Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, 
p. 368, confines the name to the present harbor, 
in 1639-40. In 1676, a paper in Hutchinson's 
Collection speaks of "the Plantation of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, commonly called the Corporation 
of Boston." Deeds of Spectacle and Rainsford 
islands, respectively dated in 1684 and 1691, 
speak of them as " scituate in Massachusetts 
Bay." N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., January, 
1868, p. 47. The British Admiralty charts of 
about the Revolutionary time often apply to the 
present Massachusetts Bay the term Boston Bay, 
m distinction to Boston Harbor. On some of 
these maps the Gulf of Maine is called Massa- 
chusetts Bay. As late as 1852, Josiah Quincy, 
Alunicipal Hist, of Boston, p. 2, conforms to the 
old usage, and speaks of Boston peninsula as 
formed by Charles River and Massachusetts 

1 The most effective study of this early car- 
tographical problem is given in Dr. John G. 
Kohl's Discovery of Maine, published by the 
Maine Historical Society. Cf. Amer. Antiq. 
Soc. Proc., April 28, 1869, p. 37. Dr. Palfrey, 
History of New England, i. 96, gives but a 
meagre list of the early maps. A few of them 
are named in S. A. Drake's Nooks and Cor- 
ners of the New England Coast, ch. i. ; and their 
want of fitting delineation is discussed in B. F. 
De Costa's article on the Verrazzano map in 
the Magazine of American History, August, 1878, 
p. 455. The great atlases of Jomard, Kunstmann, 
and Santarem contain several of the early maps 
showing the New England coast. The most 
complete enumeration of the French maps makes 
part of the section " Cartographic " in Harrisse's 
Notes sur la Nouvelle France, Paris, 1872, pp. 
191-239. A collection of maps, formed by Har- 
risse, embracing early MS. and engraved maps, 
with copies of maps in the French archives, 
was offered some years since to the United 
States Government, but, on the failure of the 
negotiations, they became the property of S. L. 
M. Barlow, Esq., of New York, who kindly sent 
them to me for inspection. I have also seen the 
excellent collection of copies of early French 
maps made by Mr. Francis Parkman in the prose- 
cution of his studies. With the exception, how- 
ever, of Champlain, the French map-makers usu- 
ally concerned themselves only incidentally with 
the New England coast, their chief study being 
with Acadie, the course of the St. Lawrence, 
and the great lakes, and, later, of the Missis- 
sippi Valley. The resources for this study, 
with chance light on the New England coast, 
are also great in the Parliamentary Library 
(Ottawa, Canada) ; in the collection in our own 
State House, formed under authority by Mr. 
Ben. Perley Poore in Paris. As private collec- 
tors, Mr. O. H. Marshall, of Buffalo, and Mr. C. 
C. Baldwin, of Cleveland, have well cultivated 
this field. 



ship's nose. An appellation of this meaning is said in the old Norse story 

to have been given to a cape in this region. The bay lying to the west of 

it has an unindented continental line, and Dr. Kohl 

argues that some older Icelandic original must have 

been before Stephanius, as no European map previous 

to 1570 presents such a configuration. The Sagas 

name a point of land, Krossaness, lying within this 

bay ; but this map gives nothing to correspond. It has 

been identified, as Mr. Dexter has pointed out, either 

with Point Allerton or the Gurnet Point. 1 

The Zeno map, drawn not long before 1400, but not published till 1558, 
shows in the southwest corner a bit of coast-line", skirted with islands, which 
those who believe in its authenticity interpret as a part of our New 
England coast. 2 

Of Sebastian Cabot's voyage, 1498, there are no charts remaining; 3 but 
Juan de la Cosa, one of Columbus's companions, who made in 1500 the 
earliest existing map showing any part of the American continent, is 
supposed to have had access to Cabot's charts, or to copies of them. 
Cosa's map is now preserved in the Royal Library at Madrid, and was 
brought to light by Humboldt, when exploring Baron Walckenaer's library 
in Paris, in 1832. It shows, in an island off a promontory, what seems to be 
Cape Cod, but, according to the prevailing opinion of that time, it represents 
these landmarks as on the northeast coast of Asia, washed by " the sea 
discovered by the English,"- as the legend on it reads. That this configura- 
tion really represents the Gulf of Maine would be borne out by Peter 
Martyr's statement that Sebastian Cabot reached, sailing south, the latitude 
of Gibraltar; and Gomara's, that Cabot turned back at 38 north latitude. 
Still, some excellent later commentators have doubted if he came south of 
the St. Lawrence gulf. Yet it is upon Cabot's discoveries that the English 
for a long while claimed their rights to the coasts of New England and 
Nova Scotia. 4 

1 This map is sketched in Kohl, p. 107. 

2 The map appeared in a little volume now 
scarce, published, as said by Mr. Dexter, at 
Venice in 1558, Dei Comvientarii del Viaggio; 
and it has been reproduced by R. H. Major in 
the Royal Geog. Society's Journal, 1873; in his 
eel. of the narrative, published by the Hakluyt 
Society, 1873; and in his paper in the Mass. 
Hist. Soc. Proc., October, 1874. There are other 
fac-similes in the Catalogue of the John Carter 
Brown Library, p. 21 1 ; in Malte Brun's Annales 
tics Voyages; in Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 97; 
and in Bryant and Gay's United States, i. 84, &c. 

3 Hakluyt's Western Planting, ed. by Chas. 
Deane, p. 224. The portrait of Cabot preserved 
by our Historical Society is a copy of an original 
now destroyed. Cf. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., Jan- 
uary, 1865. 

4 Sir William Alexander, in 1630, set forth 
this claim, as given in the Bannatync Collection 
of Royal Letters, Edinburgh, 1867, p. 61. Cf. 
Chas. Deane's note to Hakluyt's Western Plant- 
ing, p. 194, and Hakluyt's argument in his ch. 
xviii. Purchas also discussed the claim. Cosa's 
map has often been re- 
produced since Hum- 
boldt gave it in his 
Exainen Critique, and 
again, reduced, in his 
App. to Ghillany's Be- 

haiin, Nuremberg, 1853. 
The best fac-simile is COSA'S MAP. 

in Jomard's Momt- 

incn's de la Geographie, and a lithographic re- 
production of the American region is given in 
Henry Stevens's Hist, and Geog. A'oles, pi. i. It 


Cabot's discoveries, and his reports of the large quantities of fish in these 
waters, led to many Norman, Breton, and Biscayan fishing vessels following 
in his track. With from one third to one half of the days in the Calendar 
fast-days, fish was at that time an important article of food, and the fishing 
fleet along the coast as early as 1504 was surprisingly large. 1 It can hardly 
be possible that from the Grand Banks these fishermen should not have 
stretched their courses to George's Bank, and have made the acquaintance 
of the harbors of our bay. It seems evident that the fishermen made out 
the contour of the coast from Labrador south much before those exploring 
under royal commissions. Their sailing-charts, however, have all disap- 
peared, or, at least, none are known giving any delineation of our bay. 

In 1508 the map of Ruysch was issued at Rome in an edition of Ptolemy's 
Geography. This is the rare but well-known earliest engraved map showing 
the new discoveries, and connecting them of course with the coast of Asia. 2 
Cape Race is clearly made out, but the coast trends westward from that 
point in a way hardly to be identified with any of the minor contours 
known to modern maps. 3 Following this came an interval, when the region 
known through the discoveries of Cabot, and subsequently of Cortercal, 
the Portuguese, came out on the maps as an island or as an indefinite 
section of the main, while the Atlantic swept over the region now known as 
New England. This idea prevailed in the globe preserved in the Lenox 
Library in New York, made probably 1510-12; in Sylvanus's map to 
the Ptolemy of 1511 ; in the sketch-map of Leonardo da Vinci, preserved 
in the Queen's Collection at Windsor; in the map in Stobnicza's Ptolemy, 
a Polish edition of 1512 or later; in Schoner's globe, preserved at Nurem- 
berg, 1520, and in various other delineations. 

A more correct idea prevailed in 1527, when Robert Thorne, an English 
merchant then living in Seville, transmitted to England the map, showing 
recent Spanish and Portuguese discoveries, which, with Thome's letter to 
Henry VIII., instigated the expedition under Rut, who according to 
Hakluyt coasted the shores of Norumbega or Arambec, and landed men 
" to examine into the condition of the country." Maine, and even the 
whole of New England, was known by this name, and it is barely possible 
that our bay may have been explored by the first English known to have 

is also in Lelewel's Geog. dn Moyen Age, No. 41 ; 2 Cf. E. E. Hale's paper, with a section of 

DC la Sagra's Cuba ; Kohl's Discovery of Maine, the map compared with the Asia coast, in Amer. 

p. 151, &c. Cf. Appendix to Kunstmann's Ent- Antiq. Soc. Proc., April 21, 1871. 

deckling Anicrikas. 3 A copy of the original of this map, which 

1 Lorenzo Sabine, Report on the Principal belonged to the late Charles Sumner, is in Har- 

Fisheries (>f the American Seas, Washington, 1853. vard College Library, and fac-similes or repro- 

Cf. Wytfliet's Descriptionis Ptoleinnica- Anginen- ductions will be found in Humboldt's Exaincn 

turn; Lescarbot's Nouv. France, 1618, p. 228; Critique, \.; in his App. to Ghillany's Hchaim ; in 

Kiard's Relation, 1616, ch. i ; Chanlplain's Voyages, Santarcm's Atlas; in Stevens's Hist, and Geog. 

1632, p. 9; Navarrete's Collection, &.C., iii. 176, Notes, pi. 2; in Lelewel's Moyen Age, and a sec- 

who denies the French claim ; Parkman's /V0*w.r tion in Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 156. The 

of France, \. 171-5 Kohl's Disc, of Maine, pp. 201, original map measures twenty-one inches by 

280; Estancelin's Kecherches stir les Voyages des sixteen, and is thought to have followed one by 

Navigaleurs Norman Js. Columbus, now lost. 


set foot on the soil of this region. If Rut made any sailing-charts, none 
are known ; but Thome's map was engraved in Hakluyt's first publication, 
the Divers Voyages, London, I582. 1 It shows a continuous coast-line from 
Labrador to Florida, but it can hardly be said that it has any indication 
of Massachusetts Bay. 

In 1527 we have the map 2 ascribed to Fernando Columbus, the son of 
the admiral, which is preserved at Munich, and bears a close resemblance 
to the chart made in 1529 by the royal carto- 
grapher, Ribero, by the order of Charles V., ** < 
to embody existing knowledge. They are 
supposed to represent the results of the ex- 
pedition of Gomez, which had been sent out 
after the Congress at Badajos, where, on a com- 
parison of views of geographers then present, 
it appeared there had been up to that time no 
adequate examination of the coast of the pres- 
ent United States, to discover if some passage 
through to the Indies did not exist. The dis- 
coveries of Gomez first introduced into maps 
the Connection between Cabot's surveys and 
those of the Spanish, who had sailed as far 1 
north as the Chesapeake. In Ribero's chart, 

^ r* j 11 i ^ j /* L BY FERNANDO COLUMBUS, I<527. 

Cape Cod seems to be well defined as Cabo 

de Arenas^ (Sandy Cape), enclosing a circling bay called St. Christoval, 
which stretches with a northern sweep to the estuary of the Penobscot. 4 
If Boston Harbor can be made out at all, it would seem to be that fed 
by a river and called Bate de S. Antonio. 

The same date (1529) is given to a planisphere, preserved in the Collegio 
Romano de Propaganda Fide at Rome, which by some is thought to be an 
original, and by others a copy, by Hieronimus Verrazzano. It has of late 
years been brought into prominence in support of the authenticity of a letter 

1 It is also fac-similed in J. W. Jones's ed. 
of this book, published by the liakluyt Society. 

2 Figured in Kohl's Aeltestcn General Karten 
von Amerika. 

3 The Spanish names of Ribero, as well as 
his error in placing Cape Cod so low as 39 or 
40, was followed in many maps for a long 

4 There is, however, some difference of opin- 
ion on this point. Originals of this Ribero map 
are preserved at Rome and at Weimar, and Dr. 
Kohl gives a fac-simile in his Aeltesten General 
Karten von Amerika, and a reduction in his Dis- 
covery of Maine, p. 299. Sprengel, in 1795, na< ^ 
already given a large fac-simile in his Ueber 
Riberos dlteste Weltkarte. Lelewel, Moyen Age, 
gives a reduction. Murphy, Verrazzano, p. 129, 
gives it with English names, and this writer thinks 

VOL. I. 6. 

that it is followed in the map given in Ramusio's 
Indie Occidentali, Venice, 1534. De Costa, Mag. 
of Amer. History, August, 1878, p. 459, on the con- 
trary, traces this Ramusio map to another pre- 
served in the Propaganda at Rome, of which he 
gives a sketch. Thomassy, Nouvelles Annales 
des Voyages, xxxv., had already described this 
Propaganda map in 1855, and it is attributed 
De Costa thinks wrongfully to Verrazzano in 
the Studi Bibliografici, &c., p. 358. De Costa 
also contends that Oviedo, when he described 
the coast in 1534 from the map of Chaves, now 
lost, repudiated Ribero, as did Ruscelli in 1544 
(Kohl, p. 297), and Gastaldi in the Ptolemy of 
1548. The map of Fernando Columbus is also 
given in fac-simile in Kohl's Aeltesten General 
Karten von Amerika, Weimar, 1860, and a sec- 
tion is given in Kohl's Disc, of Maine. 


ascribed to Giovanni de Verrazzano, which purports to describe a cruise by 
that navigator along the coast of the present United States in I524. 1 The 
map in question-, if it shows our bay at all, puts it much too far to the north, 
and the outstretched spit of land which bounds it on the south is represented 
as much broken along its straight length. 2 

The Asian theory came out again very singularly, in 1531, in the plani- 
sphere of Orontius Finaeus, in which the eastern shore is given with close 
resemblance to that of the older continent. It is hardly possible to find our 
bay, however, in any of its sinuosities. 3 

Dr. Kohl gives from a MS. in the collection of the late Henry Huth, of 
London, of about this date, a Spanish map of the coast from Penobscot 
to Cape Cod, which resembles the outline of Ribero, with the same want 
of definiteness. 4 Much the same may be said of a map of an Italian cosmog- 
rapher, Baptista Agnese, 1536, preserved in the Royal Library at Dresden. 5 
In this and in other maps of about this time the continent in the latitude of 
New England is drawn as an isthmus, which is made to connect the Cabot 
discoveries at the north with the Spanish discoveries about ancient Florida. 
It usually shows on the Atlantic side a vague likeness of Massachusetts Bay, 
resembling the Ribero draft. A map giving this representation did much 
service during the middle of that century, appearing first in the Ptolemy of 
1540, subsequently in the CosmograpJiia of Sebastian Munster, and in 
various other places for a period of fifty years. I think the map was the 
first from a wood-block, in which cavities were cut for the insertion of type 
for the names. Impressions of it accordingly appear with the names changed 
into several languages. 6 The engraved sheets of a globe, an early work of 
Mercator, 1541, show a similar bay. 7 It is quite impossible to make the 
coast-line, as shown in the globe of Ulpius, into any semblance of the bay. 
This globe, which bears date 1542, was found in Spain by the late Mr. 
Buckingham Smith, and is now in the New York Historical Society's rooms, 
and it was cited by Smith in his contribution to the Verrazzano controversy. 8 

1 Ortelius, in 1570, in giving a list of maps of it to Mercator's projection. The reduction is 

known to him, does not mention any of Verraz- given in Henry Stevens's Historical and Geo- 

zano. The main points of the Verrazzano con- graphical Notes. 
troversy are sketched in Mr. Dexter's chapter. 4 Kohl, Disc, of Maine, p. 315. 

' 2 Two imperfect photographs of this map, 6 Depicted in Kohl, p. 292. 

which measures 102 X 51 inches, were procured 6 A sketch of this map, incorrectly dated 

by the Amer. Geog. Soc. in 1871, and Murphy, 1530, is given in Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 296, 

in his Voyage of Verrazzano, and Brevoort, in with some others of similar features for our 

his Verrazano the Navigator, give engravings, New England coast. See Kohl, p. 315. 
but without the coast names, which are un- 7 These sheets the only ones known were 

decipherable in the photographs. De Costa, bought by the Royal Library at Brussels in 1868, 

however, has since added the coast names and a small edition of a fac-simile has since been 

from the original to an enlarged section of issued under the auspices of the Belgian gov- 

the map, which is given in the Mag. of Amer. eminent. 

History, August, 1878, with sketches of other 8 It is engraved in Smith's Inquiry into the 

and later maps, influenced, as he claims, by this authenticity of Verrazzano 's claims, and in Mur- 

of Verrazzano. P n y' s Verrazzano, p. 114. A full description of 

3 The original representation shows the it, with an engraving, is given by B. F. De Costa 

strange union of the two continents by no means in the Magazine of Atiu'r. History, January, 

so clearly as is done in Mr. Brevoort's reduction 1879. 



How far Alfonce, in 1542, came into the bay it is not easy to determine, 
though he has been credited with being its first actual discoverer, and there 
is a sketch of the Norumbega or Maine coast, given, after Alfonce's drafts, in 
Murphy's Verrazzano. 1 

Of about this date ( 1 54243 ) is a map which was perhaps made, as Davezac 
thinks, under orders from Francis I. On it the Spanish " Cabo de Arenas " 
becomes the French C. des Sablons, and it encloses a bay in the same way, 
which has a river R. de la Tourne'e, possibly 
our Charles at its inner point. 2 Another map 

of this time (1543) seems to be of Portuguese ~ % "* * e -"**** fe l^j r ' <j*s & /** 
origin, and is preserved in the collection of the 3l!ilO' : ''' 

late Sir Thomas Phillipps. It gives the same -^ '.**. - ^-^MBfiS^* 1 **' 
bay, but calls the outer cape C. dc Croix, and 
it has a river Rio Hondo about where the 
Merrimac should be. The designation Cabo 
de Arenas is given to a projection further 
south. 3 A year later is the date (1544) of the large engraved map of which 
the single copy known is preserved in the great Paris library. The influence 
of Jomard brought it from Germany, where it was discovered in 1855. It is 
usually called Sebastian Cabot's Mappemonde, but the better authorities 4 
doubt Cabot's connection with it in the state in which we have it. It gives 
our cape and bay rather after Ribero's plat, but without names. 

In 1556 the Italian Ramusio gave a map of the two Americas in the third 
volume of his Collection of Voyages, but the sketch of the coast-line from 
Terra de Bacalaos (Newfoundland) to Florida has simply a general south- 
westerly trend. The same map was again used in his 1565 edition. 

Again, in 1558, a Portuguese chart, by Homem, indicates the bay, but 
yields nothing distinctive. 6 

In 1561, Ruscelli, a learned Italian geographer, produced his edition of 
Ptolemy, and included in it a map 6 borrowed seemingly, so far as the coast- 
lines of New England go, from a previous map of Gastaldi ; but he carries 
the coast to the west, and gives the bay this time with two headlands, 
bestowing the name of Cabo de Santa Maria on the one corresponding to 

to Hakluyt's Western Planting, p. 224 ; and 
Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 358. There is also a 
small sketch of it in Bryant and Gay's United 
States, i. 132; Jomard, Monuments de la Geo- 
graphic, gives it in fac-simile ; and Judge Daly 
gives a reduction of the entire map in his Early 
History of Cartography, an address before the 
American Geographical Society, 1879. 

6 The original is in the British Museum. It 
is figured in Kohl, p. 377. 

e This map is figured in Lelewel, p. 170, and 
Kohl, p. 233. The Ptolemy in question is in the 
Boston Public Library. The same character- 
istics of nomenclature appear in Navigalioni del 
mondo nuovo, by Nicollo del Dolfinato, which is 
also given in Kohl, p. 317. 

1 See B. F. De Costa's Northmen in Maine, 
p. 92 ; Davezac in the Bulletin de la Societe de 
Geographic, 1857, p. 317; Margry's Les Naviga- 
tions Francises, p. 228; Guc'rin's Navigateiirs 
Fran fats, p. 109; Hakluyt's Princ ipall Naviga- 
tions, iii. 237 ; and Le Routier de Jcau Alphonse, 
pub. by the Quebec Lit. and Hist. Soc., 1843. 

2 Given in Jomard's Monuments de la Geog., 
and in Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 351. 

8 Kohl, Disc, of Maine, p. 354. 

4 R. H. Major's " English Discovery of the 
American Continent," in the Archicologia, xliii., 
p. 17; Geo. Bancroft in AppletoiCs Cyclopaedia; 
Chas. Deane in his Remarks on Sebastian Cabofs 
Mappemonde, in Amer. Antiq. Soc. Proceedings, 
April 24, 1867, also Oct. 20, 1866, and his note 



Cape Cod, and not to Cape Ann, as the Spanish maps commonly do. In 
the small map of the New World, given in Levinus Apolonius, published at 
Antwerp, 1566, Cape Ann is called C. de S. Maria; Cape Cod, C. de Trafal- 
gar ; J and Massachusetts Bay is named B. de S. Christoval. 

In 1569 the great German map-maker, Mercator, produced his most 
famous work, that great chart in which he first gave his well-known projec- 
tion publicity, and which is now to be seen in the National Library at Paris. 
For our Massachusetts Bay he represents an almost enclosed expanse of 
water, guarding it on the south with the then well-known C. de Arenas. He 
puts it, however, much too far to the south, giving it a latitude of 38 north. 
Unfortunately, as Kohl says, this great chart tells us but little of our own 
New England coast. 2 

The next year (1570) Ortelius brought out his TJicatrnm or bis tcrrarnm, 
which was the first general atlas since the revival of letters. The maps of 
the world and of the two Americas were not changed in several successive 
editions. 3 Penobscot Bay is given prominence with C. de lagus islas on its 
westerly entrance, while a general southerly trend of coast, called Bncna 
Vista, gives the old Spanish name of C. de Arenas further down, with hardly 
a protuberance to correspond. Ortelius followed, in large measure, the 
views of Mercator, and in turn affected for many years the cartographical 
knowledge of the world, but he had less influence in England than on the 

continent. When Hakluyt issued his first pub- 

.<*+ WL lication in 1582, Divers Voyages, he gave 

in it what was known as Michael Lok's map, 
a strange conglomeration of cartographical 
notions. Our bay is still shown with its Cape 
Carenas, but the Penobscot was changed into 
LOK'S MAP, 1582. a strait connecting Massachusetts Bay with 

the St. Lawrence, or the gulf-like water that stood for that river, while the 
" Mare de Verrazana, 1524," making an isthmus of New England, lay like a 
broad sea over most of New France. 4 

There is in the Munich Library, in the collection of manuscript maps 
which belonged to Robert Dudley, one marked " Thomas Hood made this 
platte, 1592." It gives a shape to the bay common to maps of this time, 
and calls Cape Cod C. de Pero, a name Dudley corrects in the manuscript 
to Arenas, while Hood had placed the old name further down the coast. 

1 This name is usually applied on the Caro- cording to Verrazano's plat," and with it the 
lina coast to Cape Hatteras or Cape Fear, but great western sea called in early maps by his 
the sliding scale on which names run in those name passed out of geographers' minds. The 

days was very slippery. 

map is rarer than the book. The copies of the 

2 It is given in Jomard's great work in fac- Divers Voyages in Harvard College Library, in 
simile, and is reduced in Lelewel, p. 181, and in the Lenox Library, and in Chas. Deane's collec- 

part in Kohl, p. 384. Cf. Amer. Geog. Soc. Bul- 
letin, No. 4, on Mercator and his works. Judge 
Daly gives a reduction of the entire map in his 
Early History of Cartography, N. Y., 1879. 

3 '575. 1584, &c. 

* The map claims to have been made "ac- 

tion, have it in fac-simile. The Hakluyt Society's 
reprint of the book gives it in fac-simile, and it 
can also be found in the Catalogue of the John 
Carter Brown Library, p. 288. There are small 
sketches of it in Kohl's Disc, of Maine, p. 290, 
and in Fox Bourne's English Seamen. 



The names around the bay in succession, going north, are Santiago, B. 
de S. Chris toforo, R. de S, Antonio, Monte Viride, and R. de Buena Madre. 1 

HOOD'S MAP, 1592. 

WYTFLIET, 1597. 

A new cartographer appeared, 1597, in Wytfliet, who then published 
his Dcscriptionis Ptolemaicce Augmentum, and gave a new delineation to 
the coast, with some curious mistakes. A large estuary is represented in 
the correct latitude for Massachusetts Bay, fed by various rivers, and 
called Clicsipook Sinus, while the genuine Chesapeake has no existence. 
Along the main river, at the bottom of this bay, Comokee'vs, written ; while to 
the north, where the Merrimac might be, is the R. de Buena Madre? with an 
island, Y. Primera, off the mouth. C. de Santa Maria is carried well north 
into what looks like Casco Bay, with the usual estuary of Norumbega (Penob- 
scot) still to the east. 3 Confusion meets one at every turn in tracing the 
development of the coast-lines at this time. Maps were produced and 
followed here and there often long after other and better surveys were made 

1 This map is fac-similed (No. 13) in Kunst- 
mann's atlas to his Entdeckung Amerikas, Mu- 

' 2 A name which goes back at least to the 
Gomez explorations. 

3 The same map appeared in subsequent 
editions, 1598, 1603; in French at Douai, 1607 
and 1611. Copies of the last are in the Public 

Library of Boston and in Harvard College 
Library; and the map of 1597 is also in the 
latter library. The America sii'c Novus Or- 
bis of Metellus, issued at Cologne, 1600, 
has a map which seems to have been drawn 
wholly from Wytfliet. It is also in the Col- 
lege Library. Cf. Harrisse's Nouv. France, 
No. 298-301. 


known. Kohl, 1 for instance, gives three maps of about 1590, which are 
hardly improved on Ribero of sixty years before, showing how Hondius, as 
late as 1619, used an old plate of Mercator's, which can be contrasted with 
a map in the Atlas Minor Gerardi Mcrcatoris, also issued by Hondius in 
1607; while the Novus Atlas of Blaeu, Amsterdam, so late as 1642, shows 
a coast-line of a very much earlier date. 2 Again, the same atlas shows 
differing sources in separate maps of the coast; as, for instance, in 
Hondius's Mcrcator, Amsterdam, 1613, the map Virginia and Florida 
gives to the Clicscpioock Sinus the same shape that it bears in Wytfliet, 
while being put in 37^, it raises a doubt if it may not, after all, be the 
modern Chesapeake ; but in the same atlas, on a map of the two Americas, 
the C. de las Arenas encloses a large B. de S. Cliristoftc, going back to 
Ribero for the name, while Chesepiook now does duty to a small inlet a little 
further south. 3 

De Bry's map of the two Americas, in 1597, makes the coast-line stretch 
west from the Penobscot, loop into a bay, and then trend south. This is 
our bay again with the C. de S. Maria at the north, but Plancius's name for 
the southern peninsula, C. dc S. Tiago, was a forerunner of Prince Charles's 
Cape James of twenty years later, when he fruitlessly tried to supplant the 
homely nomenclature of Gosnold. It is usually said that this English navi- 
gator was the earliest to stretch his course from England directly to New 
England, others having before followed the circuitous course by the Azores 
and the West Indies. It seems to be quite certain that he made his land- 
fall near Salem, May 14, 1602, when, striking across to the opposite Cape, 
he was surprised at a large catch of fish, and gave the now well-known name 
of Cape Cod to the headland. 4 He and his men are the first English posi- 
tively known to have landed on Massachusetts soil. 5 If Gosnold made any 
drafts of the coast as he found it, they have not come down to us. They 
would doubtless have shown the peninsula of Cape Cod as an island, " by 
reason of the large sound [called by him Shoal Hope] that lay between it 
and the main." We know that Hudson and Block subsequently supposed 
it such. 

1 In his Discovery of Maine, p. 315. upon this coast better fishing and in as great 

2 Some of the atlases passed through many plenty as in Newfoundland." So also Rosier 
editions. Muller's Catalogues (Amsterdam) de- reported, two or three years later. 

scribe many of them, under Mercator. Ortelius, 6 Gosnold's short letter to his father, Sept. 7, 

Hondius, &c. 1602, Archer's Relation in Purchas, iv., and Bre- 

8 So late as 1638, in Linschoten's Histoire de reton's Brief and True Relation are the chief 
la A'tK'igntioH, a map by Petrus Plancius, dated original authorities. The Harvard College copy 
1594, preserves this same 5". C/iristoval Bay, shut of Brereton is imperfect ; there is one in the Bar- 
in by C. de S. Maria on the north, and C. de S. low Collection ; and the Brinlcy copy (Catalogue, 
Tiago on the south. It had appeared on various No. 280) brought eight hundred dollars. Brere- 
intervening charts, and came out even later in ton is reprinted in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 69. 
Visscher's map of the two Americas, dated There are other accounts in Strachey's Historie 
1652. Blaeu, when he was making his sectional of Travaile, ii. ch. 6; reprinted in 4 Afass. Hist. 
charts follow the reports of Block (1614), would Coll. i. 223, and in N. Y. Hist. Coll.; and in 
give the old contour in his general maps, with the Smith's Gencrall Historic, i. 16. For Gosnold's 
B. de Christofie, &c., as see his 1635 edition. landfall, see John A. Poor, in his Vindication vf 

4 His chronicler Brereton says: "There is Gorges, 30, and Drake's Boston, p. 12. 


It is interesting to note that the earliest English name attached to our 
coast should later point to one of the chief industries of the future Com- 
monwealth. 1 

Captain Pring, the next year, 1603, following in the track of Gosnold, 
seems to have landed somewhere 2 in the bay, without entering, however, the 
present Boston Harbor, and to have made a map, if we can so inter- 
pret Gorges's language when he says Pring made " the most exact dis- 
covery of that coast that ever came to my hands." It has never, however, 
come into later hands, so far as we know, and it is fair to presume bore 
more resemblance to the reality than did the sketches of the New England 
coast which this same year 1603 appeared in Juan Botero's Relaciones 
Univcrsales? published at Valladolid, which is of no further interest than as 
introducing a new name, Modano, against a barely protuberant coast, where 
Cape Cod might well be. 

Again, another English captain, Weymouth, leaving England in 
May, 1605, under the patronage of the Earl of Southampton, seems 
to have struck the coast at our Cape Cod, and then to have borne away 
to the north, leaving to our friends of the Maine coast a disputed ques- 
tion concerning his navigating. 4 

Our next records are French. Henry IV., in 1603, gave to De Monts 
a patent of La Cadie, as a country lying between 40 and 46 north lati- 
tude. 5 In De Monts' expedition for exploration, in 1605, Champlain sailed 
with him as his pilot, and they seem to have landed at Cape Ann, 6 where 
Champlain tells us he got the natives to draw for him the coast farther 
south. They made it in the form of a great bay, and placed six pebbles 
at intervals along its shores to indicate so many distinct chieftaincies. It 
has been noted that this agrees with the number of chief sachems which, 
later, Gookin and others said the early settlers found about Massachusetts 

1 The effigy of a codfish, which now hangs in 280) brought eight hundred dollars. There are 
the Representatives' Chamber in the State other copies in the Barlow Collection, and in the 
House, was transferred from the Old State N. Y. Hist. Soc. Library. The copy in the 
House in 1798, where it was hung up in a simi- Grenville Collection (British Museum) was 
lar position, by vote in 1784, "as a memorial of transcribed for Sparks to print in the 3 Mass. 
the importance of the cod-fishery ; " and it would Hist. Coll., viii. 125 ; and George Prince has also 
appear, from the same vote, that such an em- printed it in his pamphlet on Weymouth. Cf. 
blem had earlier "been usual." A previous Purchas, iv. 1659; Strachey in Mass. Hist. Coll. 
effigy may have been burned in one of the fires i. 228 ; Smith's Gcnerall Historic, p. 18. 

to which that building or its predecessor had 8 Lescarbot, Hist, de la Nonvelle France, 1866, 

been subjected in 1711 or 1747. A colonial ii. 410. This covered the New England coast, 

stamp in 1755 figured a cod as "the staple of *> Le Cap anx Isles, he calls it, in reference to 

the Massachusetts." Cf. K. S. Rantoul on "The the three islands which Smith, a few years later, 

Cod in Massachusetts History,," in Essex Insti- named the Three Turks' Heads,io commemorate 

title Hist. Coll., September, 1866. one of his Eastern exploits. An early French 

2 Plymouth was the bay in which Pring map, of which Mr. Francis Parkman procured a 
landed, according to De Costa, in his paper on copy, somewhat strangely confounds matters, 
Gosnold and Pring, in N. E. Hist, and Gcneal. when the C. St. Louis of Champlain, on the 
Keg., January, 1878, p. 80. Marshfield shore, is fixed here, with C. St. Anne 

3 In Harvard College Library. as an alternative, a canonization of the royal 

4 Rosier's Journal, describing this voyage, is consort of King James that improves on the 
one of the rarities. The Brinley copy (No. simpler adulation of Smith. 


Bay; and Champlain adds, " I observed in the bay all that the savages had 
described to me." Sailing then to the west-south-west, between numerous 
islands, the French anchored near an island, finding on their way the coast 
a great deal cleared, and planted with corn and fine trees. The islands 

about them were covered with wood. 1 This 
is supposed to depict Boston Harbor, and 
it is the Charles, perhaps, that he describes 
when, towards the end of his chapter, he 
says, " There is in this bay a very broad river, which we named River dn 
Guast, which stretched, as it seemed, toward the Iroquois." 

Passing outside the harbor, we next track them to Brant Rock Point, on 
the Marshfield shore, their Cap St. Louis, whence they skirted a low 
sandy coast to Port du Cap St. Louis, seemingly the same harbor in which 
the " Mayflower" landed her company in i62O. 2 Again following the bend 
of the bay, they reach Cap Blanc, our Cape Cod, which they rounded, and, 
going south a little further, they had a skirmish with the natives, and 
turned back. 

The next year, 1606, Champlain came back with Poutrincourt. Having 
occasion to calk their shallop in Gloucester Harbor, he has left us a map 
of it in his book. He says, however, very little of his now following his 
previous track beyond Cap St. Louis to a harbor, which was perhaps 
Barnstable ; and so again rounding Cap Blanc he tacked away to the 
south, finding the shore and the shoals doubtless different from now, and so 
proceeded to the entrance of the Vineyard Sound, a little further than 
before, when he again turned back, and never again visited these shores. 
He left on them, however, names that clung to some maps for a long time. 
The full narrative of these explorations appeared in the 1613 edition of 
Lcs Voyages du Sieur de Cliarnplain, published at Paris ; and it was ac- 
companied by two maps, the one showing the coast from the St. Law- 
rence to the Chesapeake, " faict 1'an, 1612;" and the other carried the 
coast south only to about the extent of his own observations. This is 
called the map of 1613. In the first we have Baye Blanche inside of C. blan ; 
the Baye aux Isles, from its relation to C. St. Louis, might be Plymouth ; 
the R. de Gas flows into a bay dotted with islands, and comes, as his text 
indicates, from a region west near Lac de Cliamplain, which is marked as the 
country of the Yrocois. The 1613 map is not so carefully drawn, but it 
has the same prototype of the Charles, stretching still to the western 
Yroquois, just south of Lake Champlain. Some of these features still clung 

1 A manuscript- in the State Paper Office, for the Prince Society, and edited by Rev. E. 
London, has events a good deal mixed. Cf. F. Slafter, 1878, vol. ii. The Quebec edition 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc , January, 1861. of Champlain's works has all the maps in 

2 A plan of this bay is rudely given in the iac-simile. I regret that I have not been 
1613 and 1632 editions of Champlain; and able to agree with Mr. Parkman Pioneers 
Drake, Nooks and Corners of the New England of France in the New World, p. 232 in 
Coast, copies it. This whole narrative is easily fixing the modern correspondences of Cham- 
followed in the English translation of the 1613 plain's localities. My views accord with Mr. 
edition which has been made by Professor Otis Slafter's. 


to the larger map 1 of 1632, which appeared in the consolidated edition of 
Champlain's successive narratives of that date ; but the supposable Charles 
has dwindled in this later map to a mere coast stream, while Lake Cham- 
plain, interposing to the east of the Hudson, lies not farther distant to the 
west from the site of Boston than the Cap aux Isles (Cape Ann) lies to 
the east. 

It is interesting to remember that in 1609, only three or four years after 
Champlain's voyage, Henry Hudson landed at Cape Cod on his way to 
explore the river since called by his name ; and his reports made it pos- 
sible for Champlain to make his map of the harbor of New York and its 
magnificent river as well as he did. In the same year, 1609, Lescarbot 
brought out in his Nouvelle France a map which did further service in the 
later editions of 1611 and 1612. Cape Cod would hardly challenge our ac- 
quaintance in this map, and the bay within seems but one of a zigzag series 
of contours which run north, each well supplied with islands, till the region 
of the Kinibeki is reached, when the coast turns eastward. There are no 
names from Malebarre to Chouacoet, the latter well up into the bend of the 
coast. 2 In the year of the original issue of Lescarbot, Hakluyt had caused 
an English translation of it to be published in London. This Nova Francia, 
as it was called, came out in 1609, with nothing to show that Lescarbot was 
its original source except that it had his map ; and this was the latest 
engraved cartographical expression of this region which Englishmen could 
have seen when that " thrice memorable discoverer, Captain Smith," as 
Wood calls him, took up the problem. Lescarbot had certainly gone far 
from a solution, as many others had done, if we may trust Smith's own 
words. " I have had six or seven several plots of these northern parts, so 
unlike each to other, and most so differing from any true proportion or 
resemblance of the country as they did me no more good than so much 
waste paper, though they cost me more. It may be that it was not my 
chance to see the best." 3 

Smith left England in March, 1614, on this trading expedition, four 
London merchants joining him in the commercial venture, and two 

1 One of the 1632 editions in Harvard Col- ter. The French, after this, added nothing to 
lege Library has the map. It is given in fac- our knowledge of the coast. Their later maps 
simile in the Quebec edition, vol. vi. of Cham- were drawn to express their knowledge of the 
plajn, and defectively in O'Callaghan's Doat- great lakes and the Mississippi ; and, when the 
nifntary History of A r ew York, iii. eastern seaboard was drawn in, it was with little 

2 The 1612 Lescarbot is in Harvard College or no regard to detail. Franquelin made for 
Library. The map is fac-similed in Tross's re- Colbert various maps; and others of his time are 
print of the book, Paris, 1866, p. 224; and noted in llarrisse's A T otes sur la Noitvelle France, 
other reproductions are in the Abbe Faillon's and in the appendix to Parkman's La Salle. 
Hisloirc Je la Colonie Franchise en Canada, \. 85, Mr. Parkman's tracing of the great map of 
and in The Popham Manorial. A fac-simile is Franquelin, the original of which has disap- 
also given herewith. peared from the French archives, gives Boston, 

3 Smith's reference must be to drafts made with the hook of Cape Cod, but nothing else dis- 
by English explorers or fishermen on the coast, tinctively. Aii earlier map shows an undulating 
The only engraved maps to which he could line from Maine to Jersey. Mr. Parkman has 
have referred were Lescarbot's and Champlain's ; lately placed his collection of maps in Harvard 
and it seems improbable that he knew the lat- College Library. 

VOL. I. 7. 


ships 1 carried his company and his supplies. He sailed away for North 
Virginia, as the country was then called, and struck the coast near the 
Penobscot. Leaving his vessels to fish and trade, he took eight men in 
a boat, and started to map out the bay. He speaks of passing " close 
aboard the shore in a little boat," and of drawing " the map from point to 
point, isle to isle, and harbor to harbor, with the soundings, sands, rocks, 
and landmarks," and adds that he " sounded about twenty-five excellent 
good harbors." We follow him in his coursing pretty accurately round 
Cape Ann, which he named Cape Tragabigsanda, after an old Turkish 
flame of his, while the neighboring islands were set down on his plot as 
the Three Turks' Heads, the doughty navigator having memorably decapi- 
tated an equal number of Moslems at some past time. 2 

Our present interest in his narrative is to ascertain how closely he 
explored Boston Harbor. His language is usually held to signify that 
he struck across from the north shore and touched the south shore some- 
where in the neighborhood of Cohasset, and that he mistook the entrance 
by Point Allerton as the debouching of a river. He 
wrote afterwards that he thought " the fairest reach 
'. in this bay " was a river, " whereupon I called it 
Charles River." The map which two years later he 
published clearly shows a bay with eight islands in it, into which this river 
flows. From this one would infer that he at least got within the outer 
harbor, and mistook one of the inner passages for the river's mouth. 3 It 
is, of course, possible that he embodied in this map what information he 
obtained from the descriptions of the natives at that time, but he does not 
say he did. He afterwards made use of later explorers' reports, when he 
extended on his map this same bay farther inland, and increased the num- 
ber of its islands ; describing at the same time " that fair channel " as divid- 

1 These vessels were of fifty and sixty tons, zine, July, 1861. Mr. Deane says the body of the 
Mr. Deane has gathered a number of instances letter is not in Smith's hand; but he thinks the 
of the sizes of the ships of these early naviga- signature above given is. Cf. Mass. Hist. Soc. 
tors. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., October, 1865. Proc., January, 1867. Summarized accounts of 

2 The authorities for this exploration are his this New England voyage will be found in Belk- 
own Description of New England, 1616, of which nap's American Biography; Hillard's Life of 
there are copies in Harvard College Library; John Smith; Palfrey's New England, where (i. 
in the Prince Collection (Boston Public Library) ; p. 89) there is a note on the authenticity and 
in Charles Deane's Collection, &c. It was re- veracity of Smith's books. Accounts of his 
printed at Boston seventy-five copies by published works are to be found in Allibone's 
Veazie in 1865, and is in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. Dictionary of Authors ; in Hillard, p. 398; and 
95 (the Prince copy being followed), and in an estimate of their literary value in M. C. 
Force's Tracts, ii. It was afterwards included in Tyler's Hist, of American Literature, \. 

his Gencrall Historic, of which there are copies 3 His language already quoted would seem 

of different editions in Harvard College Library, to imply that he was in the bay when he descried 

in the Prince Collection, and in Mr. Deane's. Cf. its "fairest reach," and we know he makes in 

also his Advertisement to Planters, 1631, of another place Massachusetts Bay and Charles 

which there are copies in the College Library River one and the same. The question at 

and in Mr. Deane's Collection. This also was issue seems to l>e what Smith saw and thought 

reprinted by Veazie in 1865; audit is also in- to be a river's mouth, the lighthouse chan- 

cluded in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. i. Smith's nel, or the passage between Long Island Head 

letter to Lord Bacon (1618), giving an account of and Deer Island. I incline to the latter 

New England, is printed in the Historical Maga- view. 




ing itself " into so many fair branches as make forty or fifty pleasant 
islands within that excellent bay." J Smith thence sailed across Massa- 
chusetts Bay, made his draft of the Cape Cod peninsula, and then, rejoin- 
ing his vessels to the eastward, set sail for England, and reached port in 
August. Smith was, or professed to be, well pleased with what he saw ; but 
as he next engaged in a project for settling the country, which first took 
from him the name of New England, his enthusiastic description may savor 
perhaps of self-interest. " Of all the parts of the world I have yet seen not 
inhabited," he said, " I would rather live here than anywhere." 

The site of Boston before this had been successively found within a 
region variously designated. To the Northmen it was Vinland. In 1520 
Ayllon could not have sailed much above 30 north latitude, yet in Ribero's 
map Ticrra de Ayllon stretched up into New England. So again, a little 
later, the Ticrra de los Bretoncs was extended west and south from the 
region where Cabot made his landfall. After Verrazzano and Cartier, 
Francisca, Nova Francia, La Terre Franqaise, and Nouvelle France was 
stretched to the south over New England, and sometimes the Spanish 
Florida, as in Ruscelli's map, 1561, came well up to the same latitude. The 
earliest native name to be applied to the country by Europeans was 
Norumbega, which appears in the narrative of the French captain quoted 
in Ramusio, in 1537, and, by the time Mercator made his great chart in 
1569, this name began to be general. It seemed at first to cover a terri- 
tory stretching well along our eastern seaboard, but gradually became fixed 
on the region of the Penobscot. 2 Smith, in 1620, makes Virginia a part of 
Norumbega. Virginia first appeared on maps in Hakluyt's edition of Peter 
Martyr's Decades, 1587, and later Gosnold and his successor considered they 
were exploring the northern parts of Virginia, and so it was known to 
Smith before he gave it the designation it now bears, New England. 
" My first voyage to Norumbega, now called New England, 1614," is his 
marginal note in his Advertisement to Planters. Hunt and other navigators 
called it Cannaday. Smith's designation did not wholly supplant the Dutch 
New Nctherland in European maps (which began to be used also about 
this time), till the Hollanders were finally expelled from New York; and 
even after that the Dutch name vanished slowly. 

To further his colonization scheme, Smith set sail from England again 
in March, 1615, with two ships, one commanded by himself and the other 
by Dermcr. The latter alone succeeded in reaching the coast, and returned 
after a successful business in August. 3 Meanwhile Smith's ship was dis- 

1 There is a narrative on the early records of himself says rather unguardedly that " Smith 

Charlestown, which represents Smith as having entered Charles River and named it." 

come up to that peninsula. It is printed in ' l Cf. De Laet's Novns Mundus ; Kohl's Disc. 

Young's Chronicles of Massachusetts. It can be, of Maine; Hakluyt's Western Planting; De 

however, of no authority. Frothingham, in his Costa's Northmen in Maine, p. 44 ; Congres des 

History of Charlestown (unfortunately never to be Amcricanistes, 1877, p. 223, &c. 

completed), says that it was written in 1664 by 3 The absolute continuity of the New Eng- 

John Greene, and not, as Thomas Prince had land and Virginia coasts was later proved by 

affirmed, by Increase Newell. Frothingham Dernier first among the English. Cf. Purchas's 


ablcd in a storm ; returned to refit ; again set sail, June 24, but only to be 
captured by a French cruiser. After many mishaps in his captivity, Smith 
got back to England late in 1615, bringing with him the narrative of his 
first voyage, which he had written while a prisoner to the French. In June, 
1616, he published it in London, as A Description of Neiv England : or TJtc 
Observations, and Discoveries, of Captain loJm Smith {Admiral I of tliat 
Country}, in the North of America, in the year of our Lord, 1614. London. 
Ilninfrey Lowncs, for Robert Clcrke, 1616. It was a little quarto volume, 
of a size and shape common to that day, of about eighty pages. A folding 
map of New England, extending from Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod, went 
with it. With this publication Smith sought to incite a movement for 
colonization. He journeyed about the western counties distributing it. 
" I caused," he says, " two or three thousand of them [the book] to be 
printed ; one thousand with a great many maps, both of Virginia and New 
England, I presented to thirty of the Chief Companies in London at their 
halls." No immediate results came from Smith's efforts. He never again 
was on the coast, and his endeavors were but a part of the causes that 
finally worked together to establish the English race permanently upon 
Massachusetts Bay. 

Smith's map, as the real foundation of our New England cartography, 
deserves particular attention. To the draft which he made he affixed the 
Indian names, or such as whim had prompted him to give while he sur- 
veyed the shores. There is rarely found in copies of the Description 
of New England a leaf, printed on one side only, which reads as follows : 
" Because the Booke was printed ere the Prince his Highnesse had altered 
the names, I intreate the Reader peruse this schedule ; which will plainly 
shew him the correspondence of the old names to the new." Below this 
are two columns, one giving the old names, the other the new ones ; the 
latter such as Prince Charles, then a lad of fifteen, had affixed to the 
different points, bays, rivers, and other physical features, when Smith 
showed him the map. As engraved, the map has the Prince's nomen- 
clature; the book has Smith's or the earlier; and this rare leaf is to make 
the two mutually intelligible. 1 

So far as is known to me, this map exists in ten states of the plate, and 
I purpose now to note their distinctive features. 2 

I. The original condition of the map bears in the lower left-hand corner, Simon 
Pasans sculpsit ; Robert Clerke cxcudit ; and in the lower right-hand corner, London, 

Pilgrims; 2 N. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll. i.; Thornton's Mr. Deane having caused such a fac-simile to be 

Ancient Femaqitid. In 1616 the settlement of made from the Prince copy. Mr. Deanc's copy, 

Richard Vines at Saco, and other ineffectual that in Harvard College Library, and the three 

plantations, enlarged the knowledge of the coast, copies in the British Museum, want it. 
Cf. Gorges's Narrative ; Palfrey's New England, 2 In this study I make use of some memor- 

i. ch. 2; Folsom's Saco and Biddcford, &c. anda of Mr. James Lenox and Mr. Chas. Deane, 

1 The Prince copy and the Peter Force copy printed in Norton's Literary Gazette, new series, 

(Library of Congress) are the only copies known i. (1854) 134, 219; but I add one condition (VIII.) 

to me which have this leaf, unless in fac-simile, to their enumeration. 




Printed by Geor: Low. The title NEW ENGLAND is in large letters at the top, 
to the right of it the English arms, and beneath it, The most remarqueable parts thus 
named \ by the high and mighty Prince CHARLES, | Prince of great Britaine. 
The latitude is marked on the right-hand side only : there are no marks of longitude. 
Boston Harbor is indicated by a bay with eight islands, and a point of land extending 
from the southwest within it. The River Charles extends inland from the northwest 
corner of the bay, a short distance. A whale, a ship, and a fleet are represented 
upon the sea. There is no date beneath the scale. There are many names on later 
states not yet introduced, and some of the present names are changed in the later 
impressions, as will be noted below. 

Of the names which the Prince assigned, but three became permanently attached 
to the localities, and these are, Plimouth to the spot which Champlain had called 
Port St. Louis, which the natives called Accomack, and which the Pilgrims continued 
to call by this newer name, seven or eight years later ; Cape Anna, for which Smith 
had sacrificed the remembrance of his Eastern romance ; and The River Charles, 
which had been previously known as Massachusets River ; while the name Massa- 
chusets Mount, earlier applied to our Blue Hill, became, under Charles's pen, Cheuyot 
hills}- Gosnold's Cape Cod proved better rooted than Charles's monument to his 
dynasty, Cape James, and so the Prince's Stuard's Bay has given place to Cape Cod 
Bay. Our own name, Boston, as is the case with many other well-known names 
of this day, appears in connection with a locality remote from its present application. 
It supplanted Smith's Accominticus , and stood for the modern York in Maine. Two of 
the Captain's names were suffered to stand, New England as the general designation 
of the country, and Smith" s Isles, within ten years aftenvards to be known among the 
English as the Isles of Shoals. 2 London was put upon the shore about where Hingham 
or perhaps Cohasset is ; Oxford stood for the modern Marshfield ; Poynt Suttliff is 
adjacent, and does duty for Champlain's C. de S. Louis and the present Brant Rock ; 
and Poynt George is the designation of the Gurnet. 

Of the copies of the book known to be in America, but one has the map in this 
state, and that is the Prince copy, in which the map is unfortunately imperfect, but not 
in an essential part. 3 From this copy C. A. Swett, of Boston, engraved the fac-simile 
which appeared in Veazie's reprint of the Description of New England, in 1865.* 

In 1617, Hulsius, the German collector, translated Smith's Description for his 
Voyages, and re-engraved the map ; but the names in the lower corners were omitted, 
and Smith's title, the verses concerning him, and some of the explanations were 
given in German. Hulsius's map, beside accompanying his Part XIV., first edition, 
1617, and second edition, 1628, is often found in Part XIII. (Hamor's Virginia), 
and is also given in Part XX. (New England and Virginia), 1629? 

i Smith, in his text, speaks of "the high Brinley sale, March, 1879, had maps of a later 

mountaine of Massachusetts." state, and so do all the other copies in Ameri- 

' 2 A monument to Smith was erected on can collections, Harvard -College Library, 

Star Island, one of the group, in 1864. It is Lenox Library, the Carter Brown Library, Chas. 

pictured in Jenness's Isles of Shoals, and in S. Deane's collection, &c. 

A. Drake's Nooks ami Corners of the New E/ig- * The reduction in Bryant and Gay's Pop. 

land Coast. Jfist. of the U. S., i. 518, is from Swell's fac- 

3 A copy wilhout the map was advertised in simile, which can also be found in some 

London in 1879 f r l Ior - / while Quaritch copies of Chas. Deane's reprint of New "g- 

in 1873 advertised a copy with what he called land's Trials. 

the original map (perhaps, however, not the 6 "Voyages of Hulsius," in Contributions to 

original stale) for 50. The copies sold in Ihe a Catalogue of t/ie Lenox Library, parl i., 1877. 


II. The date, 1614, is for the first time inserted under the scale, and the names 
P. Trarers and Gerrards Jls are put in near Pcmbrocks Bay (Penobscot). A copy 
of this second state is in the Harvard College copy of the Description of 1616. \Vc 
give a heliotype of a portion of it. A lithographic fac-simile of the whole, but 
without the ships, &c., is given in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. iii., and in .a reduced form by 
photo-lithography in Palfrey's New England, i. 95.' Mr. Lenox supposed that this 
state of the plate may have been first used in the 1620 edition of Smith's New 
England's Trials, no copy of which was known to be in this country when Mr. 
Deane, in 1873, reprinted it 2 in the Proceedings of the Mass. Hist. Society, Feb. i873- 8 

III. Smith's escutcheon, but without the motto, was introduced in the lower left- 
hand corner. This state is found in Mr. Deane's copy of the Gencrall Historic, 1624, 
and in the Lenox copy of the Description of 1616. Mr. Lenox supposed this state 
may have been first used in the 1622 edition of New England's Trials* 

IV. The motto Vincere est vivere is put in a scroll to the left of Smith's escutcheon. 
The degrees of latitude and longitude are noted on all sides. Copies of this state 
are found in the Charles Deane and Carter Brown copies of the Description of 1616, 
and it was also in the Crowninshield copy, taken from Boston to England some years 
since. Mr. Lenox supposed this state to have originally belonged to the first edition 
of the Genera/1 Historic? 1624, in which Smith gathered his previous independent 
issues. There was no change in the several successive editions of this book (1624, 
1626, 1627, 1632, the last in two issues) except in the front matter; and, speaking of 
this book, Field, in his Indian Bibliography, p. 366, says of the original issue, " It is 
so commonly the case as almost to form the rule, that even the best copies have been 
made up by the substitution of later editions of some of the maps." Some of the 
copies were on large paper. 6 

V. The name Paynes Us is put down on the Maine coast. Cross-lines are made 
on the front of the breastplate in the portrait of Smith, in the upper left-hand corner, 
and the whole portrait is retouched. Robert Clerke's name is partly obliterated. 
This state is supposed to belong to the 1626 edition of the Gencrall Historic. 
The edition of this date in Cornell University Library (Sparks Collection) has 

Both editions, each with map, are also in liar- a private reprint of it. The text is given in 

vard College Library. Chas. Deane has the Force's Tracts, ii. 

1617 edition. A copy was sold in the Brinley 6 Mr. Deane has printed the prospectus of 

sale, March, 1879, No. 362. this book, which he found in London. Mass. 

' We give a heliotype of the portrait of Hist. Sac. Proc., January, 1867. 

Smith on his map from the same state, and before 6 Such is S. L. M. Barlow's copy, but it has 

it was retouched. The only other photographic slate V. of the map. A large-paper dedication 

reproduction of it is, we think, the reduction copy, bound for Smith's patron, the Duchess of 

given by Palfrey while reproducing the map. It Richmond and Lenox, was bought at the Brinley 

is unsatisfactory, however, the art of photo-lith- sale (No. 364), March, 1879, for the Lenox 

ography being then young. There have been Library, for $1,800. Mr. Deane's copy of the 

various engraved copies of it, in Bancroft's 1624 edition has state III. of the plate. This 

United States ; in . the New England Hist, and book is a favorite subject for the artful manipu- 

Gen. Register, 1858 ; in Drake's Boston ; in lations of modern dealers in second-hand books. 

Vea/ie's reprint of the map, &c. There were important changes in the title, maps, 

* From a transcript of a copy in the Bodleian and other parts of the successive issues; but in 
Library, which differs in the names of the declica- making up deficient copies, these fabricators 
tion from the British Museum copy. have inserted whatever they could find, irrespec- 

8 Also separately issued. tive of its state of issue. The Gencrall Historic 

* This second edition was enlarged from is reprinted in Pinkcrton's Voyages, xiii., and in 
eight to fourteen leaves of text. Mr. Deane great part in Purchas's Pilgrims. It was care- 
has a copy. The late John Carter Brown issued lessly reprinted in Richmond, Va., in 1819. 



but a part of the map, which, however, so far conforms. It is in Mr. Barlow's 
1624 edition. 1 

VI. The name of lames Reeue in the lower right-hand corner is substituted for 
that of George Low, The name of the engraver is given with an additional s, 
Passaus. This state is supposed by Mr. Lenox to belong to the 1627 edition of the 
General! Historic, of which there are copies in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Library, and in the 
Prince Library (with notes by Prince). This state is in the 1632 edition in Harvard 
College Library. 

VII. The last line of the inscription at the top is changed to read : noive King of 
great Britainc. In the portrait the armor is figured. West's Bay is placed on the 
outer side of Cape lames. P'. Standish corresponds to the modern Manomet Point. 
The word NEW is inserted above Plimouth. P. Wynthrop is put north of Cape Anna. 
P. Reeues is put near Ipswich. Salem is laid down just north of Cape Anna. 
Fullerton lie is changed to Frauncis lie;* Cary Us to Claiborne Us (off Boston 
Harbor) ; and P. Murry to P. Saltonstale (south of Boston Harbor). The bay 
(Boston Harbor) is enlarged westward, a point of land within it erased, and the 
islands increased from eight to eighteen. 8 

Mr. Lenox held that this state first appeared in Smith's Advertisements to Planters* 
1631, and it is found in the Carter Brown copy of this tract. The Harvard College 
copy, however, has the state X., and the Charles Deane copy has IX. Mr. Lenox 
has questioned if this state did not sometimes make part of Higginson's New 
England's Plantation, of which there were three editions printed in 1630, the first 
of twenty, and the second enlarged to twenty-six pages. The two copies of the book 
in Harvard College Library, the three editions in the Lenox Library, and the copy 
which was in the Brinley sale, all, however, want the map. 5 Sparke, who printed 
the second edition of Higginson, probably owned the plate, as he printed the General! 
Historic of 1624, 1626, and 1627, and the Historia Mundi of 1635, which all had 
the map. Yet, if it properly belongs to Higginson, it is strange that a map mis- 
placing Salem, where Higginson lived, should be used ; and the names Wynthrop 
and Saltonstale could have been given only in anticipation of the arrival of those 

VIII. Martins lie is given in Penobscot Bay. Perhaps some of the changes 
named under IX. were made in this state (except the Plymouth Company's arms) ; 
for the only example of it which I have found is a fragment (two thirds) of the map 
belonging to Harvard College Library, the westerly third being gone. It belonged, 
perhaps, to the first issue of the 1632 edition of the General! Historic. 

IX. The arms of the Council for New England are given in the centre of the 
plate. 6 The following changes may first have appeared in the preceding number. 

1 The Harvard College copy of this date simile of the map by Veazie, Boston, 1865, and 

(1626) wants the maps. There is a copy in the is also included in 3 Mass' Hist. Coll. iii. Smith 

Mass. Hist. Society's library. died June 21, 1631, and this must have been the 

' 2 This is just north of the entrance to Bos- last state of the plate he was personally con- 
ton Harbor, and is supposed to be Nahant, re- cerned in. 

fcrred to in Smith's account as "the isles of 5 The tract was reprinted in Mass. Hist. 

Mattahunts." Coll. i. 

This was because of the reports of later Mr. Charles Deane supposes these arms to 
visitors, which Smith, in his Advertisements to be those of the Council. See his letter in Mass. 
Planters, says had represented the "excellent Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1867. Dr. Palfrey en- 
bay" to have "forty or fifty pleasant islands." gra%'cs them as such on the title-page of his 

4 This tract has been reprinted, with a fac- History of New England. 


The name Char/ton 1 is inserted just south of the mouth of The River Charles. 
Salem misplaced is obliterated, and the name is inserted in its proper place. Two 
unfinished arms of the. sea, on the north of Talbotts Bay, are extended inland, 
covering the position of a church in previous states. This may have belonged to the 
second 1632 issue of the Generall Historie, and it appears in such copies in Harvard 
College Library and in Mr. Barlow's copy. It is in Mr. Deane's Advertisement to 
Planters of 1631. 

X. The River Charles is extended to the left-hand edge of the plate, and symbols 
of towns with figures of men, animals, and representations of Indian huts are scattered 
near it. On its north bank the following names are inserted, beginning at the west : 
Watertowne, Newtowne, Medford, Charlcstown? and beyond the Fawmouth of the 
original plate Saugus is put in. The south bank shows Roxberry, Boston (repre- 
sented as five leagues up the river, by the scale) , and Winnisime. Cheuyot hills is 
erased and the name Dorchester is inserted along the eastern slope of the picture of 
the hill which still remains. London and Oxford still stand. A school of fish is 
delineated under the single ship. Under the compass these words appear : He that 
desyrcs to know more of the Estate of new England lett him read a new Book of the 
prospecte of new England 6 ther he shall have Satisfaction. Although the old date, 
1614, is still kept on the plate, this inscription shows that this state followed the 
publication of Wood's New England's Prospects? 1634, and it seems to have been 
made for the following work : Historia Mimdi, or Mercator's Atlas . . . Enlarged 
with new Mapps and Tables by the studious Industrie of Jodocus Hondy. Englished 
by W [ye] 6"[altonstall] . London, Printed for Michaell Sparke and Samuel Cart- 
wright, 1635, folio. 4 

This state is found in the Harvard College copy of the Advertisement to Planters, 

The modern fac-simile, by Swett, of the first state was also altered for Veazie to 
suit this condition, but the engraver did not observe that a third s had been inserted 
in the name of Passceus. This altered engraving is found in J. S. Jenness's Isles of 
Shoals, New York, 1873. 

A new element entered into the progress of New England cartography 
when the Dutch laid claim to her territory. We have already mentioned 
how Hudson, in 1609, came upon Cape Cod. He thought the promontory 
an island ; and, naming it Nieuw Hollande, he sailed about within the bay, 
baffled in his efforts to find a passage to the south. Five years later from 
the settlements of the Dutch at Manhattan, Adrian Block, in the spring of 
1614, sailing in the first vessel built in that region, the yacht " Onrust," or 
the " Restless," explored the Connecticut shores and inlets ; passed by 
Tcxel (Martha's* Vineyard), Vlielande (Nantuckct) ; rounded the southern 

1 This pronunciation of Charlestown was 4 In some of the copies of a "second Edytion" 

usual in the 171)1 century. Hull, the mint-mas- of this book, 1637, a new map of New Virginia, 

ter, in his diary, 1663, writes Charltown. Amer. announced before as in preparation in America, 

Anliq. Soc. Coll. iii. 209. engraved by Ralph Hall, 1636, was inserted. Cf. 

' 2 This is the same as Charlton, which is still Quaritch's Catalogue, No. 11,728, who errs in 

left in erroneously, as in IX. calling the map "New England." There is a 

3 Wood had spoken of the harbor as "made copy in the American Antiquarian Society's 

by a great Company of islands, whose high cliffs library. The original edition is in Harvard 

shoulder out the boisterous seas." College Library. 



point of the Cape Cod peninsula, which he called Vlacke Hoeck ; passed 
the easterly highlands on the back of the Cape, which he called Staten 
liocck ; rounded the Cape itself, naming it Caep Bevechier ; passed into the 
bay (Fuyck) ; named the southerly reach off the Barnstable shore Staten 


Bay ; stopped at Crane Bay, as he called Plymouth, proceeding to Fox 
Jiaven^ seemingly Boston Harbor; and ended his northerly course at 
Pye bay, in latitude 42 30', which appears to be what we know as Nahant 

1 We shall find these names of Crane Bay and " Little Crane," licensed by the States Gen- 

and Fox or Vos Haven clinging long to these eral, Feb. 21, 1611, for exploring, ostensibly to 

localities in maps. I judge them to have been find a passage to China. They never found 

named after two ships, "Little Fox" (het vosje) their place, however, in English maps. 
VOL. I. 8. 


Bay, making it the northerly limit of the Dutch claim, based on his dis- 
coveries. Brodhead, the New York historian, found in 1841, in the 
archives at the Hague, a map, which is supposed to be the one mentioned 
by De Laet, in 1625, as "a chart of this quarter made some years since." 
It is conjectured that it was prepared in 1614 from Block's data, and was 
the " Figurative Map," covering the country from 40 to 45 north latitude, 
presented to their High Mightinesses at the time they granted the charter 
for this region, Oct. n, 1614, in which they acknowledge the English 
claim below 40 and the French claim above 45, and took to themselves 
the intervening territory. Thus it would seem that, at about the time 
Prince Charles was reaffirming the name New England, the Dutch digni- 
taries were assigning the name New Netherland to the same territory. 1 
This " Figurative Map " gives a misshapen Cape Cod peninsula, and cuts it 
off from the main by a channel; 2 the bay becomes the Noord Zee ; Boston 
is Vos haven, with the Charles stretching west to Irocoisia, lying east of 
what stands for our present Lake George; Salem Bay seems to be Gracf 
Hcndrycks Bay; Smith's P. Wynthorp becomes Wyugacrds Jiocck ; the 
Merrimac is Sant rcvier, emptying into Witte bay? 

There was issued at Amsterdam in 1621, by 
Jacobsz, a West IndiscJie paskacrt, of which a 
section showing New Netherland, as claimed by 
the Dutch, is given in fac-simile by Dr. O'Cal- 
laghan, after a copy in his possession. 4 It 
corresponds nearly in outline (excepting the 
'/ TI/ -j,cJ0i"&' channel that makes Cape Cod an island) and 
in names to the " Figurative Map." The fea- 
tures common to the two were reiterated by 
JACOBSZ, 1621. 

the Dutch geographers for some time. 

Joannes DC Laet issued the first edition of his Niemve Wcreldt, Leyclcn, in 
i625, 6 which contained maps by Hessel Gerritz. A second edition, in 1630, 
had new maps ; and there were various later editions in Latin and in French. 6 

1 Brodhead, Hist, of New York, gives a map 
with modern outlines, showing New Netherland 
according to the charters of Oct. u, 1614, and 
June 3, 1621, covering what is now known as 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New 
York, and New Jersey. 

2 There seem to have been passages through 
the peninsula at a later day, upon good evidence, 
and there were probably similar ones earlier. 
Captain Cyprian Southack, in his chart of the 
" Sea of New England," giving the coast from 
Ipswich to Buzzard's Bay, makes a passage at 
the elbow of Cape Cod, and calls it "The place 
where I came through with a whale boat, being 
ordered by y c Governm't to "look after y c Pirate 
Ship, Whido Bellame, commands cast away y* 26 
of April, 1717, where I buried one hundred and 
two men drowned." There is a similar passage 
shown in The English Pilot, London, 1 794. 

3 Fac-similes of this map are given in Docu- 
ments relative to the Colonial History of Ne-*v 
York, \. 13, and in O'Callaghan's Hist, of Nno 
Netherland. According to F. Muller's Hooks 
on America, iii. 147, and his Catalogue of 1877, 
No. 2,270, a chromo-lithograph of it was issued 
by E. Spanier in 1850!?). 

4 Documents relating to the Colonial Hist, of 
N. Y. i. ; also given in Valentine's New York 
City Manual, 1858, and in Pennsylvania Archives, 
second series, v. Muller, Books on America, 
iii. 143, and Catalogue of 1877, No. 3,484, de- 
scribes the only other copy known. 

6 Stevens, Bibliotheca Geographica, p. 183, 
gives fac-simile of title and portrait. Mr. Deane 
has a perfect copy without ma)) of New England. 

6 Latin, in 1633, Novns Orl>is; French, in 
1640, Histoire Ju Nonvcau Monde. Cf. Asher's 
Bibliographical and Historical Essay ; F. Muller's 


These works constitute an important step in the progress of cartographi- 
cal knowledge. The Novus Orbis of 1633, however, shows two maps of 
our bay, which seem to divide the geographical honors between Champlain 
and Block. That of " Nova Francia " gives the Frenchman's names ; and 
R. du Gaz stands for the Charles. That of " Nova Anglia, Novum Belgium 
et Virginia" follows the Dutch reports, putting Vossen Haven for Boston 
Harbor; but, with further impartiality, it perpetuates Smith's designation of 
Stuarts Bay and Bristow (which proved singularly perennial for a non- 
existing town about where Beverly is), while Tragabigzanda dragged after 
it the alias of Cape Anna. 1 

In 1631, an important series of Dutch atlases was begun at Amsterdam 
by W. J. Blaeu ; and they continued to be issued with Dutch, French, Span- 
ish, and Latin texts till near the end of the century, some purporting to 
be continuations of Mercator and Ortelius. 2 The map of " Nova Belgica et 
Anglia Nova," in his Nieuwe Atlas of 1635, repeats the general contours of 
the "Figurative Map" of twenty years earlier; but Cape Cod peninsula is 
not severed, as in that. Boston is still Vos haven; there are still some 
traces of Smith remaining, as in Tragabigzanda. As in the Champlain 
map, the Charles, or rather the Merrimac, leaves at its head-waters but a 
small portage to the Lacns Irocociensis, or Lake Champlain. A new name 
comes in for the Gurnet Point, C. Blanco Gallis, which seems to be 
repeated in another form (C. Banco} in a map which appeared in Robert 
Dudley's Delia Arcano del Mare, Firenze, 1647 . 3 Dudley, who seems to 
have followed the " Figurative Map " in general, has made a strange mix- 
ture of the names. To Block's nomenclature he has added various desig- 
nations from Smith's map, like Bristow, Milford Haven (put outside the 
Cape). Some of the Dutch names are translated, like Henry 's Bay; others 
are left, like P ! Vos along the Charles ; while Boston stands against the 
harbor of islands, and occasionally an Italian termination appears, due, 
perhaps, to his engraver, A. E. Lucini. 4 

Before closing this section it may be well to trace the more immediate 
influence of Smith's map among the English. Dermer, who had sailed in 
company with Smith on his last unfortunate voyage, had been again on the 
coast in 1620, and seems to have landed at Nauset, and at the place " which, 
in Captain Smith's map, is called Plymouth." 5 This was in June ; and, in 

Catalogues; Quaritch's Catalogues, &c. Muller in a note its source is not recognized. A second 

says the editions have become rare even in edition of Dudley is dated 1661. 

Holland. 4 The Rev. E. E. Hale reports in the Ameri- 

1 This map is given in fac-simile in the Lenox can Antiquarian Society's Proceedings, October, 
edition of Jogues's Novum Belgium, prepared by 1873, that there are in the Royal Library at 
J. G. Shea in 1862. Munich some of Dudley's drawings for the 

2 Cf. Clement's Bibl. Curieuse, iv. 267 ; Bau- maps published by him in the Arcano. The 
det's Biog. of Blaeu, Utrecht, 1871, p. 76; Muller's map corresponding to this one has more 
Books on America, part iii. 128, &c. names than were engraved. Cape Cod is La 

3 Of this book, now rare, there is a good Pitnta, &c. In the engraved map Horicans is 
copy in Harvard College Library. The map in put down west of Plymouth as the name of a 
question is fac-similed in Documents relative to region or tribe. 

the Colonial History of New York, vol. i., where 5 Cf. Bradford's History, p. 96. 


November, the " Mayflower," borne by the wind and the currents north of 
her destination, which had been somewhere on the Jersey coast or by the 
capes of Delaware, sighted the cliffs of Cape Cod, and came to anchor in 
the harbor of Provincetown. The Pilgrims had declined, while in Holland, 
the offers of the Dutch to settle in New Netherland ; but, if they had seen 
Block's map, they must have known they were now in what Hudson had 
called New Holland. Smith's map they doubtless knew ; and, notwithstand- 
ing their exile, they had English sympathies. There were among the crew 
of the ship those who had been on the coast before in fishing-craft; and 
one such advised them to make a settlement at Agawam, the modern 
Ipswich. That they went to Plymouth, however, is well known ; and, 
almost at the same date with their arrival, James I. had challenged the 
Dutch on the one side and the French on the other, by granting to the 
Council of Plymouth in England the patent of Nov. 3, 1620, which con- 
firmed to that Company the territory between 40 and 48 north latitude. 
Of these the Pilgrims sought to hold, and from them they received their 

The next few years saw an increase in the visitors to the coast ; and of the 
large numbers of his maps which Smith had distributed in the country back 
of Bristol some doubtless found their way hither in the venturesome craft 
which came among these waters to fish and to barter for beaver. 1 Settle- 
ments were forming, too, Weston at Wessagusset (Weymouth) in 1622; 
those at Nantasket in 1623-24, who removed to Cape Ann the next year; 
Morton at Merry Mount in 1625 ; Conant and others at Naumkeag (Salem) 
in 1626; and, when Higginson came in 1629, he spoke of those already 
settled at Cherton, or Charlestown, "on Masathulets Bay," the Prince's 
name still governing the designation of the earliest settlement on the Charles, 
and which the next year received the company of Winthrop. Somewhere 
in these few years must be fixed another excursion of the Plymouth people, 
when, on their way to visit their neighbors at Salem, they stopped in Boston 

Harbor, and left names upon headland 
and island that still remain. One of 
their chief men, Isaac Allerton, gave 
his name to the bluff more frequently 
in these days called, by corruption, 
Point Alderton ; 2 and upon neighbor- 
ing rocks and islets was bestowed the name of his wife's family. She was 
a daughter of the Pilgrim elder, Brewster. 

Meanwhile, as Smith said in i624, 3 the country was "at last engrossed by 
twenty patentees, that divided my map into twenty parts, and cast lots for 
their shares." What Smith refers to is an abortive scheme of this time, by 
which the coast was to be parcelled out to prominent members of the Coun- 

1 Dudley, Letter to the Countess of Lincoln, 2 It is called " Allerton Poynt " in Wood's 

1630; Smith, Generall Hislorie; White, Planter's map, 1634, the earliest giving details. 
Plea. 3 In his True Travels, cap. xxiii., p. 47. 



cil for Planting, Ruling, and Governing New England. 1 Smith's map was 
certainly not implicitly followed ; for the map thus cut up seems also to bear 
some traces borrowed from another, perhaps from Lescar- 
bot's of 1612. Sir William Alexander, to whom the King 
had granted a charter in 1621, made this new map public in 
his Encouragement to Colonists, London, 1624 (some copies, 
1625), and again in 1630 annexed it to a new edition of the 
tract, in which he had changed the name to The Mapp and Descrip- 
tion of New England? 1 

Some of the names which Prince Charles bestowed had a singular 
vitality, cartographically speaking at least. Though there were 
no communities to be represented by them, geographers did not 
willingly let them die. De Laet and Blaeu, within the next score of 
years, used several of them. They got into the Carta II. of Robert 
Dudley's Arcano del Mare, published at Florence in 1647. Sanson 
used some of them through a long period of map-making, and 
even as late as 1719; and during the latter part of the seventeenth 
century they constantly appear in the geographical works of 
Visscher, Homann, Jansson, De Witt, Sandrart, Danckers, Ottens, 
Allard, and others. They stood forth in the maps of Montanus's 
Nieuwe Weereld, and adorned the great folio translation known 
as Ogilby's America in 1670. Some of them are found so late 
as 1745, in a Dutch Atlas von Zeei'aert, published at Amster- 
dam. 3 It is curious to observe how the imaginary Bristow 
and London appear as Bristoinm and Londinnm, in the 
Latin map of Crceuxius's book on Canada in 1664. In 
Visscher's and Jansson's maps, the intruding Cheviot 
Hills becomes Chenyotliillis, not readily recognized, 
except for the Mons Massachusetts ^ given by their 
side. A strange migration occurs in one of Hen- 
nepin's maps. The Dutch claimed that Pye Bay 
(Nahant) marked their northern limit, and so the 
upper boundary of Nonvean Pays Bas runs west- 
erly from Boston Harbor. It could hardly be de- 
nied, in Hennepin's time, that the English had a 
substantial hold upon Boston, and ought to have 
had upon Bristow and London, which were Eng- 
lish enough in name, if aerial in substance. So, to 

1 This division is treated of in Mr. Adams's 

' 2 The tract is reprinted, with a fac-simile of 
the map, in E. F. Slafter's Sir William Alex- 
ander, published by the Prince Society. Har- 
vard College Library has the 1630 tract without 
the map. The map was repeated in Purchas's 
Pilgrims, iv., and has been reproduced in S. G. 
Drake's Founders ^of New England, 1860 ; in 


David Laing's Royal Letters, &c., Bannatyne Club, 
Edinburgh, 1867 ; and in part in J. W. Thorn- 
ton's Landing at Cape Anne. It is also given, 
with documents appertaining, in the American 
Antiquarian Society's Proceedings, April 24, 1867. 
8 Ignorance in Holland in 1745 is certainly 
more pardonable than the English blunder of 
1778, when the North American Gazetteer of that 
year spoke of Bristol, R. I., as being famed "for 



cause no dispute, Boston is put down somewhere in the latitude of Ports- 
mouth, where Prince Charles had placed it, and Bristow and London 
flank the mouths of what must be the Merrimac. This was not long 
before 1700. 

It is interesting to note that Winthrop, in the" " Arbella " in 1630, mak- 
ing the shore just south of Cape Ann, sketched on a blank leaf of his 
journal as on preceding page the earliest outline of the coast from 
Gloucester to Salem harbor, which is preserved to us in any original 
drawing. The same page bears a description of the islands and reefs 
about Cape Ann. 1 

the King of Spain having a palace in it and 1685, still keeps Charles's London on the south 

being killed there." The Indian "King Philip" shore of the bay. 

was meant. A popular account of the English l Savage's ed. of Winthrop's Hist, of 

empire in America, published by N. Crouch in England, ii. 418. 





ON the afternoon of Wednesday, the 29th of September, 1621, a large 
open sail-boat, or shallop, as it was then called, entered Boston 
Harbor, coming up along the shore from the direction of Plymouth. In 
it were thirteen men, ten Europeans, with three savages acting as their 
guides. The whole party was under the immediate command of Captain 
Miles Standish, and their purpose was to explore the country in and about 
Massachusetts Bay, as Boston 
Harbor was then called, and 
to establish friendly trading 
relations with the inhabitants, f/ (^/ ^^^^0 

They had started from Ply- +^ f 

mouth on the ebb tide shortly before the previous midnight, expecting to 
reach their destination the next morning ; but the wind was light and the dis- 
tance greater than they supposed, so that the day was already old when they 
made the harbor's mouth. Passing by Point Allerton they laid their course 
for what appeared to them to be the bottom of the bay, and, finding good 
shelter there, came to anchor off what is now known as Thomson's Island. 1 
Here they lay during the night, which they passed on board their boat; 
though it would seem that Standish and others landed and explored the 
little island, even naming it Trevore, after one. of their number, William 
Trevore, an English sailor. 

1 The course of this exploring expedition 
has been differently surmised by the several au- 
thorities. The words used in Mourt are : " We 
came into the bottom of the bay." Young sup- 
poses this to mean that they anchored off Copp's 
Hill, at the north end of Boston (Chronicles of the 
Pilgrims, p. 225, ., following, in this statement, 
Dr. Belknap in his American Biography] ; while 
Dexter, in his edition of Mourt, says : "That is, 
run in by Point Allerton into Light-house Chan- 
nel " (p. 125, .). Neither Dr. Young nor Dr. 
Dexter, it is fair to presume, were practically 
very familiar with Boston Harbor. To one who 

has been in the custom of navigating it, how- 
ever, the phrase " the bottom of the bay " is, as 
a description, almost unmistakable. A boat com- 
ing from Plymouth would enter the harbor by the 
channel between Shag-rocks and Point Allerton ; 
and from there the view in the direction of Thom- 
son's Island is wholly unobstructed, while the 
ship-channel to Boston and Copp's Hill is de- 
vious, and masked by islands. Explorers would 
naturally go directly through the open water to 
Squantum near the mouth of the Neponset, the 
apparent " bottom of the bay." 

Many years subsequently (in 1650), Stand- 


Early on the morning of the next day the party made ready to extend 
their explorations to the main-land. As they had come to establish rela- 
tions with what remained of the once powerful tribe of the Massachusetts, 


their Indian guides seem to 

have brought them to that 

point on the shore of the bay 

which was most convenient 

for access to the broad plain 

then and long subsequently known as the " Massachusetts Fields," from its 

being used as the central gathering-place of the tribe. 1 This plain lay in 

ish made a deposition in relation to Thomson's 
Island, in which he stated that, in the year he 
came into the country, he visited this island, and 
then named it Island Trevore, after William 
Trevore, who, as stated in the text, was with him 
(A r . E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., ix. 248). This 
Trevore came over in the "Mayflower," hired to 
stay in the country one year. At the expiration 
of his year he returned to England. Standish 
and Trevore, therefore, could only have visited 
Thomson's Island together during the Septem- 
ber expedition of 1621. (Mass. Hist. Soc. Pioc., 
1875-76, p. 373.) 

This visit also could apparently have been 
made only on the evening of their arrival at the 
"bottom of the bay," or the morning after their 
arrival there, and before they crossed to the 
main-land. For it is clear that Obbatinewat did 
not live on this island, as Slanclish, in the depo- 
sition of 1650, particularly says that it was riot 
only deserted, but that there were no signs of 
its ever having been inhabited. After visiting 

the main-land, and setting out in search of Ob- 
batinewat's place of abode, the whole time of 
the explorers is accounted for : they crossed the 
bay, passed the night off the main shore on its 
other side, and the next day made their excur- 
sion into the interior, getting back to their boat 
only in time to start for Plymouth by moonlight. 
Apparently, they were too much occupied to 
explore uninhabited islands. 

It seems, therefore, fairly to be inferred that 
they came to anchor off Thomson's Island on 
their arrival, and that their subsequent course 
was as described in the text. The Hist, of 
Dorchester supposes that the first landing was 
at Nantasket, then at Squantum, and that it 
was on the Neponset that they made their 

1 Chronicles of Mass., p. 395 ; Chronicles of 
the Pilgrims, p. 226. [Mr. Everett, in his Dor- 
chester oration, 1855 (Works, iii. 318), speaks of 
a solitary individual of the tribe still lingering 
within his recollection. ED.] 


the northern part of what is now the town of Quincy, and, almost surrounded 
by the swamps and marshes bordering on the bay and the Neponset River, 
was connected with the Squantum headland, opposite to which the party had 
anchored their boat, by a low neck of mingled marsh and beach. Crossing 
the narrow channel which divides Thomson's Island from this headland, 


Standish landed at the foot of the bold rocky cliff which is still so striking 
and exceptional a feature of the shore, a miniature Nahant deep within 
the recesses of the harbor. 

1 [The portrait which is here called that of 
Standish is from a photograph, taken from an 
old painting owned by Captain A. M. Harri- 
son, U. S. Coast Survey, of Plymouth, which, 
through the friendly offices of B. Marston Wat- 
son, Esq., of that town, was kindly placed at my 
disposal by the owner. Captain Harrison has 
given an account of what is known of the pic- 
ture, in a letter printed in the Afass. Hist. Soc. 
Proc., October, 1877, p. 324. The canvas stands 
in need of complete identification as a likeness 
of the redoubtable Pilgrim hero, and the leader 
of the first party of Englishmen of whom we 
have accounts as landing on any part of the ter- 
VOL. I. 9. 

ritory of Boston; but, until positively disproven, 
it must have a certain interest. The portrait, 
which is painted on an old panel, was found in 
a picture shop in School Street, the legend 
ALtatis suce 38, A- 1625 being observable, 
the year of Standish's visit to England, when he 
was of the age noted. The name M. Standish 
was disclosed on removing the apparently mod- 
ern frame. The previous owner, James Gilbert, 
stated that it was purchased by Roger Gilbert, 
his great-uncle, who was born in Portsmouth, 
Va., but then living in Philadelphia, of a branch 
of the Chew family in Germantown, Penn., 
shortly before the war of 1812. ED.] 



Either the party had set out but slenderly provided, or they had not yet 
breakfasted ; for, rinding a number of lobsters on the shore, collected there 
by the savages, they appropriated them, and on them made their morning's 
meal. This done, Standish, having posted two men as sentinels behind the 
cliff on the landward side, to secure the shallop against any attempt at 
surprise, took four other men, with Squanto as a guide, and went in search 
of the inhabitants. They had not gone far when they met a woman coming 
for the lobsters they had found on landing. They told her that they had 
taken them and gave her something in compensation, and she in return 
explained to them where her people were. Her sachem's name she gave 
as Obbatinewat. There is no record, other than this, either of him or of 
the place where he usually lived. He professed allegiance to Massasoit, 
though then in the territory of the Massachusetts, and at this particular time 
was in such terror of the dreaded Tarrentines that he did not dare remain 
long in any settled place. It would seem probable that he and his people 
were then tarrying somewhere on the shores north of the Neponset, perhaps 


at Savin Hill or near Dorchester Heights ; for, while Squanto went thither 
with the woman, probably in her canoe, the rest returned to the shallop 
and followed them by water, which they would scarcely have done had their 
destination been any point further to the south and accessible by land. 

Rejoining Squanto and the Indian woman at the place she had indicated, 
Standish there found Obbatinewat, and, taking advantage of the terror in 
which he lived both of the Squaw-Sachem of the Massachusetts, the 
widow of Nanepashemet, and of the Tarrentines, he easily, by means of a 
promised protection, induced him to profess allegiance to King James. 
Obbatinewat then undertook to guide the party to the Squaw-Sachem, who 
lived somewhere on the Mystic, in the neighborhood, it is supposed, of the 
Wachuset. Going, therefore, presently on board their boat, they crossed 

1 [This sword came into the possession of the 
Mass. Hist. Soc. in 1798, where it now is. See 
their Proceedings, January, 1798, p. 115. The 

matchlock is also in the Society's cabinet, and is 
given here as a specimen of the weapons with 
which Standish's men were armed. En.] 


the bay, and, as they did so, they noted with admiration its broad expanse 
and the numerous islands dotting its surface, which, though then deserted by 
their inhabitants, were covered with trees and the remains of those savage 
plantations which Captain Smith had observed upon them seven years before. 1 
It was night before the explorers reached the mouth of the Mystic and landed 
the savages, who, however, found no one. It being too late to go further that 
day, they anchored their shallop and again passed the night on board. 

The next morning they landed, and, leaving two men to protect the boat, 
pushed forward up the country in the direction of Medford and Winchester. 2 
It was the first of October, of the present style, and a bright clear autumnal 
day, with the wind, what little there was of it, from the west. 3 Though en- 
cumbered by their arms, the explorers marched briskly on, following their 
Indian guides, until, having gone some three miles, they came to an aban- 
doned village ; another mile brought them to the place where the Sachem 
Nanepashemet had lived. His wigwam they found still standing, though 
deserted. It was situated on the top of a hill, and consisted of a wide scaf- 
folding of planks, raised some six feet from the ground and supported upon 
posts, and on this stood the hut. Still pressing forward, they next found in 
a swamp, not far distant from the hill, the dead sachem's stronghold, which 
consisted of a palisaded enclosure of about forty or fifty feet in diameter, and 
of the usual circular form. The single means of entrance was by way of 
a bridge crossing two ditches, which formed the chief protection for the 
place, one being within and the other without the palisade ; and " in the 
midst of this Pallizade stood the frame of an house, wherein being dead he 
lay buryed." 

The party had now gone perhaps four miles from their starting-point, and 
one mile more brought them to their destination, another and similar 
stronghold on a hill-top, in which, some two years before, Nanepashemet had 
been surprised and killed by the Tarrentines. 4 Here, on what is supposed to 
have been Rock-hill, in Medford, they halted. The stockade had not been 
occupied since the sachem's death, nor had they as yet seen any of his 
people. Indeed, the rumor of their approach had evidently gone before 
them, for at several points they had come upon the bare poles of recently 
dismantled wigwams, and once they had found a pile of Indian corn covered 
only with a mat. They now, therefore, stopped at the second of these 
stockades and sent two of their guides out to hunt up the savages. About 
a mile away some Indian squaws were found at the place where they had 
carried their corn, and thither the party went. It was not without difficulty 
that the terror of the women was appeased, but at last the friendly bearing 
of the strangers had its effect, and they recovered their courage sufficiently 
to prepare for them such an entertainment as they could of boiled cod and 
whatever else they had. No males had yet been seen. At length, however, 

1 3 Ma ss. Hist. Coll., vi. 1 19. [The question of History of Boston, is the authority for the 
Smith's sailing into the inner harbor is examined course pursued by the explorers on this day. 
in Mr. Winsor's chapter, next preceding. ED.] 3 Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 229. 

2 The Harris MS., followed by Drake, 4 Dexter's Mourfs Relation, p. 127. 


after much sending and coaxing, one was induced to show himself, " shaking 
and trembling for feare ; " but finally they satisfied him also that they came 
to trade and not to injure him, and then he promised them his furs. They 
could, however, get no information as to the whereabouts of the Squaw- 
Sachem. They were simply told that " shee was far from thence." 

The day now being well spent the party prepared to return, and 
Squanto then took occasion to suggest the propriety of plundering the 
poor Indian women, who had just entertained them, of their furs; "for," 
said he, " they are a bad people, and have often threatened you." Naturally 
the suggestion was not listened to, and the squaws, on the contrary, had by 
this time become so friendly that they accompanied the explorers the whole 
distance back to the boat. Then at last the spirit of trade proved so strong 
with them that they even "sold their coats from their backs, and tied boughs 
about them, but with great shamefacedness, for indeed they are more modest 
than some of our English women." Their provisions growing scarce, the 
party now set sail, having a fair wind and a bright moon, and reached their 
homes at Plymouth before noon of the following day, the last of the week. 

They had been most fortunate in the time of their expedition, for they 
had enjoyed a series of clear, windless days, during which they saw the 
harbor and its surrounding country wider their most attractive aspect, 
through the translucent September haze, when field and forest and hill-side 
glow with autumnal tints, and it is a pleasure to breathe and move in the 
pure New England air. 1 Their explorations, it is true, had not gone far, 
and they saw apparently the mouth of one only of the rivers which empty 
into the harbor. 2 They had, however, in their going and coming, thoroughly 
traversed the bay, and taken in its great size and the number of its islands. 
It was, therefore, no occasion for surprise that they returned to Plymouth 
not without repining ; and, as they made report of the pleasant places they 
had visited, they could not help "wishing they had been ther seated." 3 

Such was the first recorded exploration of Boston Harbor; for Smith, 
when he passed along the New England coast seven years before, had 

1 The facts stated in Mourt fix perfectly the " such a name upon that river upon which since 
character of the weather. It was a period of Charles-towne is built (supposing that was it 
full moon, between the 2gth of September and which Captain Smith in his map so named)." 
October 2. The wind was westerly, but so ED.] 

light " coming fayre " in the evening that the 8 [Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, p. 105. It 

voyage of about forty-four miles occupied, each may be unsafe to say that Bradford himself was 

way, from fifteen to twenty hours. one of this party ; but that he made one of some 

2 [It would seem, however, that at the same party of these early Plymouth explorers before 
time they discovered the Charles; for Bradford, Winthrop came would appear from his verses on 
in his History of Plymouth Plantation, edited Boston, written long subsequently. It would be 
by C.Deane, p. 369, claims for the Pilgrims that inferred that he landed, whenever it was, upon 
they really fixed that name upon the stream now the peninsula itself: 

bearing it. They recognized that Smith had ap- "Yet I have seen thee a void place, 

plied the name to a river emptying into this bay ; Shrubs and bushes covering thy face ; 

but when, on further exploration, there proved And houses then '" thee none were there - 

. , | , , ... , Nor such as gold and silk did weare. 

to be several streams, " y tf people of this place ... . 

We then drunk freely of thy spring 

which came first " meaning presumably Stand- without paying of anything" 

ish and his party were the first to impose \ Mass. Hist. Coll., \\\. ED.] 


apparently hardly more than looked into it, as he did not even ascertain the 
non-existence of the great river, a mouth for which he suggested in his 
map, and which the savages assured him pierced " many days journeys the 
entrails of that country." There is no question, however, that long before 
Standish's visit the harbor was well known to the traders and fishermen of 
all the maritime nationalities. Of the French, in particular, the traces are 
curiously distinct. Smith, for instance, mentions that, when he visited the 
bay in 1614, a French ship had shortly before been there and remained six 
weeks, trading with the natives until, when he followed, they had nothing 
left to barter. A year or two later there is a passing record of another 
French vessel which entered the harbor to truck for furs; and while she lay 
at anchor off Pettuck's Island the savages conspired to surprise her ; which 
they successfully did, killing or capturing all on board, and then plundering 
and burning the vessel. Years afterwards pieces of French money, which 
not improbably fell into the hands of the savages on this occasion, were dug 
up at Dorchester. There were traditions also of shipwrecked Frenchmen, 
most of whom ended a miserable existence as captives among the Indians, 
though one or two were rescued from them. 1 These passing traders, 
whatever their nation, left, however, no records of their visits ; and, though 
the harbor was familiar to many, no attempt at settlement had yet been 
made upon its shores. It is probable that, in consequence of Standish's 
expedition, some shelter necessary for the uses of an occasional trading- 
party may have been erected by the Plymouth people at Hull the next 
year; 2 if so, it was but temporarily occupied, and had about it nothing of 
the character of a settlement. 

It was not possible, however, that so advantageous a point upon the 
coast should long remain a wilderness; and in 1621 its civilized occupation 
was already a question of time, and a very short time at that. The first 
attempt at a settlement was, in fact, made the very next year, at a place 
known by the Indians as Wessagusset, on the south side of the bay, and in 
that part of the present town of Weymouth locally known as Old Spain. 

The advance party of those concerned in this attempt made their 
appearance in the bay less than eight months after Standish's visit, about 
the middle of May, 1622. Ten in number, they came from the northward 
in an open boat. They had been sent out by Mr. Thomas Weston, a 
London merchant, who had a design of establishing a trading-post some- 
where on the coast, in the immediate vicinity of Plymouth. Weston was 
well known to the Plymouth people, and, indeed, had for a time been 
prominently connected with their enterprise. He, however, was interested 
only in its commercial aspect, being a pure adventurer of the Captain John 
Smith type, so common at that time. As such, he had very naturally 
looked upon the English exiles then at Leyden as convenient instruments 

1 Pratt, Relation, 4 Mass. Hist. Coll., iv. 489; Morton, New English Canaan, bk. i. ch. iii. ; 
Savage, Winthrop, i. 59*, . ; Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, p. 98. 

2 Hubbard, New England, p. 102. 


for the establishment of a permanent trading-station on that New England 
coast of which Smith had given so glowing and so deceptive an account. 
Accordingly, he had been very instrumental in sending them out. But, as 
time went on and the Plymouth people sent little or nothing back to their 
English partners, Thomas Weston was disposed to attribute the unsatisfac- 
tory financial outcome rather to " weeknes of judgmente, than weeknes 
of hands ; " and so he bluntly charged them with passing their time in 
discoursing, arguing and consulting, when they should have been trad- 
ing. Wholly breaking with them, therefore, and selling out his interest in 
the Merchant Adventurers' Company, Weston now proceeded to organize 
an expedition of his own on what he regarded as the correct commercial 
plan. Though long concerned in trading voyages, he personally seems 
to have known nothing of New England. An inborn adventurer him- 
self, he was persuaded that a settlement of able-bodied men could, as 
Captain Christopher Levett afterwards expressed it, " do more good there in 
seven years than in England in twenty ; " l and he regarded families as 
a mere encumbrance to any well-designed enterprise. Accordingly, in the 
winter of 1621-22, he was busy in London organizing his new company 
on this approved plan ; and he made it up of the roughest material pos- 
sible, the very scum, apparently, of the streets and docks of the English 
trading-ports, " rude fellows" . . . "made choice of at all adventures." 2 

Before sending out his main expedition, Weston took the precaution to 
dispatch the smaller party, which has been mentioned, to explore the 
way and fix upon a place of settlement. Those composing it were shipped 
in a vessel named the " Sparrow," bound to the fishing-grounds off the 
coast of Maine ; and the plan was for them to leave the vessel near the 
Damariscove Islands, and thence to find their way by sea to Plymouth, 
looking as they went along for some place suitable for their purpose. Their 
method of procedure was a curious exemplification of the reckless spirit 
of the times, as well as of the lack of forethought, which, throughout, 
seems to have characterized Weston's attempt. None of the advance party 
appear to have been familiar with the region to which they were going; a 
portion of them were not even seafaring men, and they were wholly 
unprovided with outfit. Not until they were on the point of leaving the 
" Sparrow " for a voyage of 1 50 miles along the New England coast in an 
open boat do they seem to have fully realized the nature of their errand. 
Apparently commiserating their helplessness, and being himself an adven- 

1 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., viii. 190. Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, p. 120; Winslow, 

2 [The authorities for this and all other facts Good Newes ; Hubbard, New England, ch. xiii. ; 
connected with Weston's attempted settlement Baylies, Old Colony, chs. v. and vi. ; Palfrey, New 
are given in detail in Adams's Address on the Two England, i. 199. The narrative of Phinehas Pratt, 

. one of Weston's company, still exists in inanu- 

* script, and Richard Frothingham has edited it in 

4 Mass. Hist. Coll., iv. ; but Mr. Adams says " it 
Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Settle- can be accepted as authority only with very de- 
ment of Weymouth. The other chief contempo- cided limitations." It was Pratt who warned the 
rary and later writers to lie consulted are: Plymouth people. ED.] 


turous fellow, the mate of the "Sparrow" volunteered to pilot the party, 
and under his guidance they skirted the shore to Cape Ann, whence they 
ran across to Boston Harbor. Here they seem to have passed a number 
of days exploring, and finally selected its southerly side as that most 
favorable for the proposed settlement, for the single reason that there were 
the fewest natives thereabout. Indeed, there would not seem at this time 
to have been more than a few score of the wretched remnant of the Massa- 
chusetts lingering in that vicinity. 1 Making some arrangement for what 
land they needed with the local sachem, and growing uneasy at the vast- 
ness of the solitude and the smallness of their own number, they then left 
the bay and made their way to Plymouth. There they landed and were 
cared for; and, while their pilot returned to his vessel, they awaited the 
arrival of the main body of their enterprise. 

This was already on the sea, having sailed from London during the 
previous month. It consisted of some sixty " rude fellows," whose " pro- 
faneness " their own leader surmised might not improbably scandalize 
the voyage, on board of two small vessels, the " Charity" and the " Swan," 
the former of one hundred and the latter of thirty tons measurement. 
They all landed at Plymouth towards the end of June, and there they 
remained, to the great annoyance of their hosts, until some time in 
August. The necessary preparations having by that time been made at 
Wessagusset, the healthy members of the party were then removed thither, 
and towards the end of September the larger vessel, the " Charity," 
returned to England, leaving the smaller one for the settlers' use. Weston 
himself was not of the party, but had placed it in charge of his brother- 
in-law, one Richard Greene. Greene, however, had died during the summer 
at Plymouth, and a man named Saunders had succeeded him in control. 

The wretched sequel of Weston's abortive attempt belongs rather to the 
history of Weymouth than to that of Boston. Organized on wholly wrong 
principles, and managed without judgment; unrestrained by any authority 
and controlled by no purpose ; at once reckless and cowardly, scantily sup- 
plied and utterly improvident, it required but the first touch of a New 
England winter to develop its whole inherent weakness. Insufficiently clad 
and starving, the would-be settlers mixed freely with the neighboring 
Indians, first begging and then stealing from them, and thus incurring 
anger while they ceased to inspire fear. A number of them died, and by 
the month of March their affairs had come to such a pass that it seemed 
more than questionable whether any would survive. Meanwhile, the 
savages had become so incensed at the depredations committed upon 
them, that a conspiracy was formed to destroy not only the Wessagusset 
intruders, but the Plymouth colony also. Rumors of it reached the latter 
towards the close of March ; and, after some anxious deliberation, it was 
determined to send an armed force to Wessagusset, there to meet the 
impending danger. Standish, accordingly, was authorized to take as many 

1 Chronicles of Mass., p. 305; Chronicles of the Pilgrims, p. 310. 


men as he deemed sufficient to hold his own against all the Indians in that 
vicinity, and to proceed thither at once. Placing no high estimate appar- 
ently either on the number or the courage of his opponents, he selected but 
eight companions, and with these set sail on what is now the 4th of April. 
He reached his destination the next day, in wet and stormy weather, and 
proceeded energetically to the work he had in hand. Collecting the 
wretched stragglers from the woods where they were searching for nuts, 
and from the shore where they were digging clams, he gathered them into 
the stockade, and issued to them rations of corn taken from the store which 
the hard-pressed people of Plymouth were reserving for seed. Having thus 
provided for his allies, he prepared to deal with the savages ; and the next 
day, or the day after, seven of them who had come within the stockade 
were surprised and massacred. Among those thus summarily dealt with 
were Pecksuot and Wituwamat, two warriors who had been special objects 
of dread to the Plymouth magistrates. 

This was the end of Weston's settlement. On the following day it was 
wholly abandoned, every European leaving Wessagusset, excepting only 
three stragglers, who, in defiance of orders, had wandered off among the 
savages. All of these were subsequently put to death by the natives. 1 
The remainder divided into two parties, one of which cast in their lot with 
the Plymouth colony, while the other and apparently larger body, supplied 
by Standish with enough corn for the voyage, went on board the " Swan," 
and with their leader, Saunders, sailed for the fishing-stations on the coast 
of Maine. They felt no further desire to remain in New England. Weston 
himself, meanwhile, had already left London, and was now on the way to 
his plantation. At the Maine fishing-stations he heard of its abandonment, 
but nevertheless started in an open boat with one or two men for Wessa- 
gusset. Less fortunate than his pioneer party of the year before, he was 
cast away upon the voyage, and barely escaped with his life. Though he 
recovered the " Swan," and remained some time longer on the coast, trading 
with the savages and in trouble with the authorities, he made no attempt 
to revive his plantation, or, if he did, it resulted in nothing. 

During the very months that Weston's enterprise was thus dragging 
to its end, another and scarcely less ill-conceived undertaking was 
being matured in England. The design now was to establish a princi- 

pality, rather than a trading-post, on 
the New England shore. The new 
enterprise was organized by no less a 
person than Sir Ferdinando Gorges; 
and his younger son, Robert, 2 was 
in immediate charge of it. Robert 
Gorges had at that time recently returned to England, having seen some 
service in the Venetian wars ; and now, being apparently out of occupation, 

1 Morton, New //jA Canaan, bk. iii. ch. v. nent people of the Gorges name, see N. E. 

2 [Of the relationship of the various promi- and Gen. AVf., January, 1875, pp. 44, 112. En.] 


and not devoid of the prevailing spirit of adventure, he was ambitious of 
planting and ruling over a species of feudality or palatinate of his own in 
the New World. As a preliminary, a patent had been issued to him by the 
Council for New England. By its terms it vaguely covered a tract on the 
northeast side of what was then known as Massachusetts Bay, but which 
included only the waters inside of Nahant headland and Point Allerton. 
The territory thus conveyed had a sea-front of ten miles, and stretched thirty 
miles into the interior, not much, perhaps, in those times for a royal grant 
of unclaimed wilderness, but covering, nevertheless, some two hundred thou- 
sand acres of what are now the most thickly-peopled portions of the counties 
of Essex and Middlesex. No portion of either Boston proper or Weymouth 
could, however, be included within its limits, which seemed rather to cover the 
region lying back of the coast-line between Nahant headland on the north 
and East Boston on the south. The patent bore date Dec. 30, 1622 ; and 
during the next few months Robert Gorges was busy organizing his com- 
pany. It was part of a great scheme which, through sixteen years, had been 
maturing in the restless mind of his father, Sir Ferdinando. It looked to 
nothing less than the organized colonization of New England. 

Though somewhat discouraged and greatly reduced in means by the 
poor results of his earlier attempts of a similar character on the coast of 
Maine, Gorges was not disposed to abandon for the future what seems to 
have been with him the dream of a long life. He simply, as he himself 
expressed it, waited for " better times." 1 In 1620 he had obtained from 
the Crown a patent incorporating forty persons into what was known as the 
Council for New England, but which in fact was a private colonization and 
trading company. 2 The territory nominally ceded to it covered not only 
all of what is now New England, but also New York and New Brunswick 
as well, and extended across the continent from sea to sea. In this com- 
pany Gorges had associated with himself a number of the most prominent 
characters in the kingdom. Indeed, no less than thirteen of them were noble- 
men, among whom were several dukes and quite a number of earls. Taught 
by experience, Gorges thus proposed to give his next attempt at coloniza- 
tion a broader basis of means and influence than he alone could command. 

The patent of the Council for New England was issued Nov. 3, 1620; 
and the very next month the Plymouth Colony seated itself within the 
territory covered by it. This rather facilitated than interfered with Gorges' 
plans. It was a stroke of good fortune ; for what he of all things wanted 
was something besides savages and wild animals to occupy his new domain. 
The application of the new settlers for a patent was accordingly at once com- 
plied with, and a new life seems to have been infused into the projects of the 
Council. Just at this time, however, when all else seemed at last propitious, 
the Parliament of 1621 was assembled, and Gorges at once found himself 
involved in new and serious difficulties. He was sharply called to account 

1 [Gorges' Brief Narration is reprinted in 3 2 [And a reincorporation of an old company. 

Mass. Hist. Coll.,\\. and Maine Hist. Coll., ii. En.] See Stith's Charters. ED.] 
VOL. I. IO. 


because of the Council for New England, which was attacked as a monopoly, 
while its orders for the regulation of commerce were denounced as being 
in restraint of trade. Finally, when Sir Edward Coke, as Chairman of the 
Committee on Grievances, presented a list of things demanding redress, 
the patent for New England was first specified. The sudden dissolution of 
Parliament in January, 1622, relieved Sir Ferdinando from this difficulty; 
and the way now seemed to him clear once more. His sanguine spirit, 
however, again deceived him. Though Parliament was dissolved, the angry 
opposition of the Commons had, he found, produced an effect upon those 
he had thought to interest in the enterprise, which his utmost efforts failed 
to overcome. One by one they fell away from it, or failed to respond. A 
project for raising the large sum of one hundred thousand pounds among 
the London merchants had been one feature in his scheme ; but this had 
to be abandoned. A debt had been contracted for building a ship and 
pinnace for the trade it was proposed to carry on; and there were no funds 
with which to discharge it. Finally, those who had taken shares in the ven- 
ture failed to meet their engagements, on the ground that they did not know 
what their shares were. 

Under these circumstances Sir Ferdinando seems to have determined on 
a supreme effort. A meeting of the Council was held at Greenwich on Sun- 
day, June 29, 1623; and, in the presence of King James himself, the whole 
coast of New England from the Bay of Fundy to Narragansett was appor- 
tioned among twenty patentees. 1 Their names included two dukes, Buck- 
ingham and Richmond, four earls, and numerous lords and gentlemen. 
The King drew for Buckingham. The plan was that each lot represented 
two shares, so that the person drawing it should introduce one other person 
into the enterprise, making the whole number not less than forty. 2 The 
success which attended this meeting seems to have decided both Sir 
Ferdinando and his son to go on at once ; and a few weeks later the latter 
sailed for America. 

He was armed with a commission as Lieutenant of the Council, and was 
to exercise a jurisdiction, not only civil and criminal but ecclesiastical also, 
of the widest nature. With his civil and criminal power it was intended that 
he should correct the abuses incident to the wholly unregulated condition 
of the trade along the coast. There was certainly room, too, for reform in 
this respect; for these abuses, as Sir Ferdinando Gorges truly told the Com- 
mons, tended not only to the dishonor of the government, but to the over- 
throw of trade, for besides "beastly demeanors, tending to drunkenness" 
and debauchery, the reckless traders were freely selling arms and am- 
munition to the savages. But, in the mind of Sir Ferdinando, " the 
advancement of religion in those desert parts " was also a matter of high 
concernment; so the new lieutenant was not only clothed with wide eccle- 

1 [See an account of the map showing this Council for New England," in the Proceedings of 
division in Mr. Winsor's chapter. En.] the American Antiquarian Society for October, 

2 Mr. Deane's paper on the " Records of the 1875. [Cf. Dr. Haven's chapter. ED.] 


siastical powers, but he brought with him a clergyman of the Church of 
England, having a commission conferring upon him, as Bradford after see- 
ing it subsequently wrote, " I know not what power and authority of super- 
intendencie over other churches . . . and sundrie instructions for that end." 
As at this time there was but one church that at Plymouth in all New 
England, the significance of the authority thus conferred is apparent. 

It was no part of the present scheme to place the seat of the new gov- 
ernment within the limits of either New Hampshire or Maine, though in 
both Gorges either then had or was planning settlements. The Plymouth 
colony was no enterprise of his ; but he now clearly proposed to absorb it, 
civilly and ecclesiastically, in his more ambitious scheme, making of it a 
convenient instrument to his end. His son's destination, therefore, was 
fixed for a point in Massachusetts Bay, in close proximity to Plymouth. 
Though modesty itself, so far as titles and dignitaries were concerned, when 
compared with Gorges' previous short-lived settlement at the mouth of 
the Kennebec fourteen years before, the new government was organized on 
a scale sufficiently grandiose. At its head was the Lieutenant of the Coun- 
cil, with powers of life and death. He was further provided with a council 
of his own, of which the Governor of the Plymouth colony for the time 
being was ex officio a member ; as was also Francis West, who had already . 
been commissioned as " Admiral for that coast during this voyage," and 
Captain Christopher Levett, both of the two last-named being then in 
America or voyaging in American waters. 1 

The Robert Gorges expedition, when it departed from Plymouth in the 
midsummer of 1623, represented, therefore, the whole power and dignity of 
the Council for New England. Specially favored by King James, it num- 
bered among its patrons and associates the most powerful noblemen in 
England. It went out also in the full confidence of being the mere fore- 
runner of a much larger movement of the same character,-soon to follow. 
It was, also, as respects those who composed it, wholly different from Wes- 
ton's party of the preceding year, for Robert Gorges took with him a number 
of his relatives and personal friends ; z and there is every reason to suppose 
that the Rev. William Morell, the ecclesiastical head of the new govern- 
ment, was accompanied by at least one Cambridge graduate, William 
Blackstone. Among Gorges' other followers was a Captain Hanson and 
one Samuel Maverick, then a young man of means and education in his 
twenty-second year. 3 As the design of the expedition was to effect a settle- 

1 An account of Levett's voyage was issued Historical Society for June, 1878 (pp. 194-206). 
in London, 1628. Cf. 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., viii., Detailed citations of the original authorities are 
and Maine Hist. Coll., ii. there given. 

2 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vi. 70. [The paper thus referred to was a contri- 
8 The evidence upon which Blackstone, btition by Mr. Adams, and a most searching 

Maverick, Watford, Jeffrey, and Bursley have examination and collation of the accounts of 

been included in the Gorges expedition and these earliest settlers about the harbor. The 

settlement of 1623 is set forth in the paper en- previous writers who had glanced with more or 

titled "The Old Planters about Boston Harbor," less care at the intricacies of the subject were 

included in the Proceedings of ike Massachusetts a writer in the Charlestown Records (copied in 


ment in an unbroken wilderness, care seems to have been taken to include 
in it a certain proportion of mechanics, among whom was probably Thomas 
Walford, the blacksmith. Othenvise it was composed of the usual traders 
and tillers of the soil, respectable and well-to-do persons, some of them 
accompanied by their families ; and among these may have been William 
Jeffrey and John Bursley, subsequently of Weymouth. They reached their 
destination about the middle of September. Although the grant covered 
by his patent lay upon the opposite side of the bay, Gorges, not improbably 
alarmed by the nearness of the winter and tempted by the shelter ready to 
his hand offered by Weston's deserted block-house, landed his party at 
Wessagusset. There they established themselves ; and, as the place was 
never again wholly abandoned, the permanent settlement about Boston 
Harbor must be dated from this time, September, 1623. 

The residence of the new Governor-General within his jurisdiction does 
not seem to have been what he expected. Possibly, for he died not long 
after his return to England the next year, he was already in declining health. 
He seems, however, to have made some attempts to exercise his authority, 
first summoning the Governor of the Plymouth Colony to Wessagusset to 
consult with him, and then, before that dignitary could answer the sum- 
mons, departing suddenly for the coast of Maine in search of W'cston, 
whom he proposed to call to account for various trading misdemeanors. On 
his way thither he encountered a storm and put back, running into Plymouth, 
where he landed and passed a fortnight. Here he met Weston coming from 
the eastward, and a heated discussion seems to have followed ; which, how- 
ever, resulted in nothing. Returning then by land to Wessagusset, his 
anger, after a time, seems to have gotten the better of his judgment, and he 
sent a warrant to Plymouth for Weston's immediate arrest and the seizure 
of his vessel. The arrest and seizure were made, and it would seem that 
Weston must have passed the winter of 1623-24 at Wessagusset, 1 for dur- 
ing it he and Gorges went again to the coast of Maine, this time together. 
Finally, towards the spring, they reached an understanding. Weston, his 
vessel having been restored to him with some compensation for its seizure, 
thereupon departed for Plymouth, whence he shaped his course to Virginia. 

This angry quarrel with Weston appears to have been the principal inci- 
dent in Gorges' New England life. His jurisdiction on paper was wide and 
complete; practically he had no power to enforce it.' The fishermen and 
traders were stubborn fellows. They had paid no attention to the orders 
of Francis West, 2 though commissioned as Admiral of New England ; and 
they paid none to Robert Gorges, though he was recognized as General 
Governor and was provided with a Council. Gorges accordingly sickened 
of his undertaking. Governor Bradford observed that he did not find " the 

Budington's Hist, of the First Church, and in Felt's Eccles. Hist, of A T . E. ; Drake's Boston ; 

Young's Chronicles of Mass., and in part in Froth- Palfrey's Nno England ; Barry's ATassaclntsetls ; 

ingham's Hist, of Charlcstowii); Mather's Magna- Savage's \]'inthro/>, i. 52. En.] 
lid, bk. i. ch. iv. ; Prince's C/irottolofy ; Holmes's > Bradford, fly mouth Plantation, p. 153. 

Annals; Chalmers's Political Annals, ch. vi. ; - Ibid p. 141. 


state of things hear to answer his qualitie and condition." His father, Sir 
Ferdinando, was also in serious trouble. The difficulty was an obvious one. 
The enterprise in England was great only in the names and titles of its 
nominal projectors and patrons. The Council for New England was, after 
all, but another name for Sir Ferdinando Gorges ; and the high dignitaries 
whom he so strenuously endeavored to bring into prominence and active 
participation in it, though in no way reluctant to have their names recorded 
as the proprietors of vast tracts of territory, evinced little disposition to 
advance the funds necessary to quicken the settlement of their new domains. 
The meeting of the Council in the King's own presence, at Greenwich, in 
June, 1623, and the drawing of the lots, was, after all, but a stage effect, skil- 
fully arranged. The whole burden of carrying forward the undertaking 
now, therefore, devolved upon Gorges ; and he was not equal to it. He 
seems, nevertheless, during the months which followed the departure of his 
son, to have made every effort in his power to infuse something of his own 
zeal into his friends, even announcing his determination to go to New Eng- 
land himself with the party of the following year. 1 It was, however, of no 
avail; and before the close of 1623 it seems to have become apparent, even 
to him, that no second party was to follow. 

A reluctant intimation of this fact was at last sent to Robert Gorges, 
reaching him, probably by way of the fishing-stations on the coast of 
Maine upon the arrival there of the forerunners of the fleet, in the early 
spring of 1624. He decided at once to return to England. A portion of 
his followers returned with him. Others, however, among whom was Morell, 
remained at Wessagusset. 

Beyond the fact of their receiving some assistance from Plymouth to 
enable them to overcome the hardships necessarily incident to every new 
settlement, the records contain no mention of those thus left at Wessagusset 
during the year which immediately succeeded the departure of Robert 
Gorges. The following spring that of 1625 he was followed by the Rev. 
Mr. Morell, who, having passed the intervening time among his own people, 
went to Plymouth for the purpose of taking ship from thence. It was then 
that he first informed the authorities there of the ecclesiastical powers which 
had been confided to him. He seems, during his residence in Massachu- 
setts, to have passed his time in a quiet and unobtrusive way, attending to 
his own duties and giving trouble to no one. As the fruit of his New Eng- 
land sojourn he has left behind him a Latin poem, showing scholarly 
acquirements of a good order, in which he, in a genial and somewhat 
imaginative way, describes the country and gives his impressions of it. 2 
Notwithstanding his early departure, also, those impressions were extremely 
favorable. He was indeed as much charmed by the region about Boston 
Harbor as he was disgusted with its aboriginal inhabitants. Nevertheless, 
even before his departure, it had become apparent to the little settlement 
that a great mistake had been made when they had placed themselves at 

1 Sir Wm. Alexander's Map and Description of New England, p. 31. 2 i Mass. Hist. Coll., i. 125. 


Wessagusset; and Morell speaks with something like feeling of the hard 
lot of men who are " landed upon an unknown shore, peradventure weake 
in number and naturall powers, for want of boats and carriages," being for 
this reason compelled, with a whole empty continent before them, " to stay 
where they are first landed, having no means to remove themselves or their 
goods, be the place never so fruitlesse or inconvenient for planting, building 
houses, boats, or stages, or the harbors never so unfit for fishing, fowling, or 
mooring their boats." The settlers at Wessagusset were in fact repeating 
on a smaller scale the experience of those of Plymouth. The great scheme 
of colonization having failed, they were there to trade; and for trading pur- 
poses Wessagusset was in every way unfavorably placed. The only means 
of communication with the interior, from whence came the furs they coveted, 
was by the rivers ; for the region thereabouts was a wilderness devoid of 
natural ways and interspersed with swamps. Wessagusset was just below 
the mouth of the little Monatoquot, it is true ; but the Monatoquot was 
hardly more than a brook, and could scarcely have been navigable for any 
distance, even by an Indian's canoe. Meanwhile the Charles, the Mystic, 
and the Neponset each commanded the interior for many miles. Nor was 
Wessagusset any more favorably situated so far as the ocean was concerned. 
Even then a fleet of no less than fifty vessels annually traded along the 
coast, and their appearance in Boston Harbor was a matter of such ordinary 
occurrence as to have long ceased to excite surprise among the Indians. 
Wessagusset, however, was accessible to these vessels only by a narrow and 
devious river channel, so inconvenient for navigation that almost from the 
outset Hull was regarded as its seaport. There the Wessagusset planters 
met the coasting traders. Accordingly there is some reason to suppose 
that, about the time Morell returned to England, the settlers he left behind 
him divided, Jeffrey and Bursley, with some few others abiding at Wes- 

sagusset, while Blackstone, Maverick, and 
Walford removed across the bay; the 
former establishing himself at Shawmut, 1 
opposite the mouth of the Charles, while Walford placed himself on the 
Mystic, and Maverick took up his abode on Noddle's Island, 2 at what 

1 [Trumbull thinks Shawmut, or rather Mi- ton, p. 45. It would seem the island had dimin- 
shawmut, meant a place to go to by boat. Cf. ished about one third in area from 1633, when it 
his letter in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., December, was reckoned at a thousand acres, to 1800, when 
1866, and his chapter in this volume. ED.] a survey gave six hundred and sixty-six. It has 

2 [The island at this early date seems to have of course since increased by filling in. The 
been known by this name, which is conjectur- General Court confirmed the island to Maverick 
ably derived from one William Noddle, who had in 1633, for a yearly consideration of "a fat 
earlier occupied it, and, remaining in the colony, wether, a fat hog, or 40^. in money," paid to the 
was made a freeman in 1631. The island seems Governor. Sumner, in his second chapter, traces, 
to have been granted by John Gorges (brother as well as he can, the early Mavericks in New Eng- 
of Robert) to Sir William Brereton in January, land, and makes Samuel of Noddle's Island, born 
1628-29, and was ^en called by the baronet's in 1602, the son of the "godly " Mr. John Maver- 
name ; but, during 1629, Johnson, Wonder Work- ick, who was of the party that settled Dorchester 
ing Providence, speaks of it as Noddle's Island, just Ix-fore the arrival of Winthrop. He also 
as does Winthrop in 1630. Sumner, East Bos- proves him to be identical with the Royal Com- 


is now East Boston. The exact date of these removes cannot be fixed, 
but the probabilities would seem to be strong that they took place not later, 
certainly, than 1626, and very probably in 1625. ! 

In 1625, however, two additional settlements seem to have been made 
within the limits of the bay, one at Natascot, as Hull was then called ; the 
other at Pasonagesset, since known as Mount Wollaston, in the town of 
Quincy. The Hull settlement was a singular affair, arising out of certain 
incidents, both laughable and scandalous, which occurred at Plymouth. It 
has been stated, 2 though the authority for the statement is not now known to 
exist, that as early as 1622 that is about the time of the arrival of Weston's 
party three men, named Thomas and John Gray and Walter Knight, pur- 
chased Nantasket of Chickataubut,the sachem of the " Massachusetts Fields," 
and there settled themselves. If they did so, which, in view of the subse- 
quent occurrences at Wessagusset, seems improbable, the next addition to 
their number was in the spring of 1625. John Lyford, a clergyman of 
doubtful moral character and a confirmed mischief-maker, and John Old- 
ham, an energetic but 'self-willed and passionate private adventurer, had 
shortly before this time got into serious trouble with the Plymouth magis- 
trates, and had been ignominiously expelled from the settlement. They 
then came to Hull, Lyford bringing his wife and children with him. It 
would seem that they must have found some few persons residing there, for 
Lyford is reported to have had an " auditory " for his preaching ; and, though 
the next year both Oldham and Lyford went elsewhere, those they left 
behind them were still able to contribute to the expense of an expedition 
sent up some two years later by the Plymouth authorities to put a stop to 
certain disorderly proceedings which had, meanwhile, occurred in the 
neighborhood of Wessagusset, and which will presently be described. A 
year later, in 1629, the year which preceded the arrival of Governor 
Winthrop and his colony, Bradford, having occasion to mention Nantas- 
ket in his history, 3 described it as an " uncoth place" with " some stragling 
people," but scarcely, it would seem, deserving to be called a settlement. 

The other settlement made in the summer of 1625 that within the 
present limits of Quincy was of a wholly different character. Like Wes- 
ton's, it was a purely trading enterprise. At its head was a Captain Wollas- 
ton, of whom nothing is known except that among the Plymouth people he 
bore the reputation of being " a man of pretie parts " and of " some emi- 
nencie." The party Wollaston brought with him consisted of three or four 
men, not without means, his partners, apparently, in the venture, and 
some thirty or forty servants, as they were called, or persons who had sold 
their services for a term of years, and during that period occupied towards 

missioner of a later date (see Mr. Deane's chap- tion thereof by y e English." Clarendon Papers, 

ter). Mr. Savage (notes to Winthrop) tookadif- in N. Y. Hist. Coll., 1869, p. 49. ED.) 

ferent view. The following bears upon this point, J Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., 1878, p. 200. 

being a deposition about the Commissioner: 2 "An unpublished deposition" referred to 

"Mr. Samuel] Maverick hath along tyme dwelt in Drake's Boston, p. 41. 

in New England, allmost since the first planta- 3 Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, p. 263. 


their employers the position of minors to their parents, or apprentices 
to their masters. 

Among Wollaston's company was one Thomas Morton, a lawyer by pro- 
fession, for he signed himself " of Clifford's Inn, Gent," though the grave 
elders of the Plymouth colony contemptuously referred to him as " a petie- 
fogger of Furnivall's Inn." There seems some reason for supposing that 
Morton had been one of Weston's company. If so, he came over with it in 
June, and may have gone back to England in the following September in 
the " Sparrow," on her return voyage, without passing the winter at Wessa- 
gusset or sharing in the wretched ending of the settlement there. 1 In any 
event he carried back with him the most pleasing impressions of the country 
which no subsequent experience ever changed, and which he has himself 
recorded in glowing language. It was, in his eyes, a land of " delicate faire 
large plaines, sweete cristall fountaines, and cleare running streames, that 
twine in fine meanders through the meads " where " millions of Turtledoves 
one the greene boughes: which sate pecking of the full-ripe pleasant 
grapes." 2 It was Morton, therefore, who in all probability guided Wollas- 
ton to Boston Bay. On the arrival of the party, however, some time in the 
summer of 1625, VVessagusset was already occupied by the remnants of 
Gorges' colony, and they accordingly selected Pasonagesset as the site for 
their plantation. There they proceeded to establish themselves. Situated 
some two miles in a direct line from Wessagusset, and upon the other, or 
north, side of the Monatoquit, Pasonagesset, or Mount Wollaston, was a hill 
of moderate elevation, sloping gently on its eastern side towards the bay, 
and commanding an unobstructed view of the widest anchorage-ground of 
the harbor. For trading purposes its single draw-back was the absence of 
deep water from its immediate front. 3 The spot had, however, the ad- 
vantage of being cleared of trees, for previous to the great plague it had 
been the home of the Sachem Chickatabut, and there his mother had been 
buried. 4 

The adventurers had no charter and no grant of the soil on which they 
settled. They apparently troubled themselves little about questions of title. 
A season probably was passed in the work of laying out their plantation 
and erecting their buildings, at the close of which it would seem that Wol- 

1 Address on the ztpth Anniversary of the mentions the book (Wood not leaving New Eng- 
Settlement of Weymouth, p. 8, . land till Aug. 1 5, 1633), shows the 1632 date to be 

2 The A'ew English Canaan, p. 61. (This erroneous; and Lowndes' citing of a 1634 date is 
book of Morton's, describing his experiences, likewise wrong, certainly as regards the Gordons- 
has a curious history. It has been said that it toun copy. About twenty copies which have 
was issued in 1632, presumably at London, and come to my knowledge all purport to be printed 
the date is so given by White-Kennet and Meu- at Amsterdam by Jacob Frederick Stain in 1637, 
sel. Force claimed to have reprinted it from such and Muller, the Amsterdam bookseller, contends 
a copy; but the Force copy is now without title, it was printed there, though the place has been 
and he probably copied the date from White- held to be falsely given for London. Cf. Hiir- 
Kennet. The Stationers' Register (Arber's vard College Library Bulletin, No. IO, p. 244. 
Transcripts, iv. 283) proves it was entered for ED.] 

copyright Nov. 18, 1633, and this, as well as the a Young, Chronicles of Mass., p. 395. 

fact that Wood, in his New England* Prospect, * Morton, New English Canaan, bk. iii. ch. iii. 


laston had become satisfied that there was little legitimate profit to be looked 
for in the enterprise. Accordingly he determined to go elsewhere.' Leaving 
one Rasdell in charge of the plantation, and taking with him a number of the 
articled servants, he set sail, some time in the winter of 1625-26, for Virginia. 
He there disposed of those of his servants whom he brought with him to 
the planters on terms so satisfactory to himself that he at once sent back 
word for Rasdell to turn over the plantation to one Pitcher, and to bring on 
to Virginia another detachment of servants. This was done, and they also 
were disposed of. 

The number of those left at the plantation was now reduced to ten. 
The supplies had begun to run short, and a spirit of discontent prevailed. 
Taking advantage of this, Morton incited a species of mutiny, which resulted 
in Pitcher's being thrust out of doors, while he himself got control. He 
then changed the name of the place to Merry Mount, or, as he called it, 
Mare Mount, designating himself as " mine host" of the establishment; but 
the Plymouth people spoke of him as the " Lord of Misrule." According 
to his own account, he and his followers were a roystering, drunken set, trad- 
ing with the savages for beaver-skins, and freely supplying them with spirits, 
arms, and ammunition, holding most questionable relations with the Indian 
women, and leading, generally, a wild frontier life. On what is now the 
tenth of the month, in the year 1627, the anniversary of May Day was cele- 
brated here by these people with revels and merriment, after the old English 
custom. Not only has Morton himself left us a minute description of the 
proceedings on this occasion, declaring that the pole was "a goodly pine 
tree of 80 foote longe, . . . with a peare of buckshorns nayled one, somewhat 
neare unto the top of it," but Governor Bradford also says they " set up a 
May-pole, drinking and dancing aboute it many days togeather, inviting the 
Indean women for their consorts, dancing and frisking togither (like so many 
fairies, or furies rather), and worse practises." According to the evidence 
of both sides, therefore, it would seem there can be no question as to the 
nature of the proceedings at Pasonagesset during the year 1627.* 

The number of Morton's followers was small as yet, but the danger was 
great lest the place should become a refuge for loose and disorderly char- 
acters, whether runaway servants of the planters or deserters from the 
fishing-vessels. The practice, too, of bartering with the savages firearms 
for furs not only destroyed the value of all other commodities in exchange, 
but it added a new danger to a situation already perilous enough. The 
straggling settlers along the coast, therefore, impelled by a common sense 
of alarm, came together to consider the subject ; but Morton would listen 
to no reason, and in strength was more than a match for all of them. 
The question, however, was one in which the whole region was interested. 
An appeal was therefore finally made to the authorities at Plymouth, 
and they sent a messenger to Mount Wollaston, bearing a formal letter, 

1 [Hawthorne pictures this revelry in "The Maypole of Merry Mount," one of his Twice- 
Told T.i/i-s. En.] 

VOL. I. II. 


in which they, in a friendly and neighborly way, admonished Morton as 
to his evil courses, and called his attention to the fact that his dealings in 
firearms were in direct contravention of King James's proclamation of 1622. 
Their admonition was, however, treated with contempt. In fact they were 
plainly told to mind their own business, and the dangerous trade was about 
to be carried on upon a larger scale than ever, when, in the spring of 1628, 
it was decided to have recourse to more severe measures for its repression. 
Miles Standish was, accordingly, again sent to Wessagusset, with orders to 
arrest Morton. Acting, probably, on information received from the other 
settlers, this expedition started towards the end of May or early in 
June, when the larger portion of Morton's followers were in the interior 
looking for furs. He was found at Wessagusset, and there captured. It 
was, however, either too late in the day, or no part of the plan, to carry 
him at once to Plymouth, and during the night which followed the prisoner 
succeeded in slipping away from his captors, and made his escape to his 
own house. Thither Standish followed him the next day, and finally suc- 
ceeded in arresting him. This, however, was accomplished only after a 

ludicrous attempt at resistance on the part 
^ Morton and such tipsy and frightened 
followers as he had with him, which re- 
sulted in injury only to one of their number, who " was so drunke y' he 
run his own nose upon y c pointe of a sword y l one held before him as he 
entred y c house ; but he lost but a litle of his hote blood." l 

Morton was taken to Plymouth by his captors, and thence subsequently 
sent to England. He returned, however, the next year with Isaac Allerton, 
the agent of the colony; and, after hanging about Plymouth acting as 
Allerton's clerk for some time, he found his way back to Mount Wol- 
laston. In the meanwhile, however, on the 6th of September, 1628, just 
three months after his arrest by Standish, John Endicott had landed at 
Salem ; and the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, which included Merry 
Mount within its chartered limits, had come into existence. One of Endi- 
cott's first acts had been to visit Mount Wollaston, where he cut down the 
May-pole, and sternly admonished the remnants of the party who still 
lingered about the place. Whether any of them were yet there at the 
time of Morton's reappearance a year later, in the autumn of 1629, does 
not appear. He, however, repossessed himself of his old home, which he 
occupied until the arrival of Winthrop, a year later. He even seems to 
have been tolerated by Endicott, as he attended one or more of the earlier 
General Courts held at Salem. According to his own account, however, he 
was a thorn in the side of the authorities ; and he escaped a second arrest 
only by concealing himself in the woods. 2 

1 Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, p. 241. The 2 j Samuel Maverick gives a curious story of 

history of the Merry Mount episode is narrated Morton's tribulations at the hands of the colon- 

in detail in two articles in the Atlantic Afont/ily ists in one of his letters to Lord Clarendon. A r . 

Magazine, for May and June, 1877 |by C. F. Y. Hist. Soc. Coll., 1869, p. 40. El).] 
Adams, Jr. ED.]. 


In addition to those already referred to, there was at this time but one 
other plantation in the vicinity of Boston, that of David Thomson, on what 
is now Thomson's Island. This man is referred to by Morton as a Scottish 
gentleman, both a traveller and a scholar, who had been quite observant 
of the habits of the Indians. Unlike Morton, who seems to have had no con- 
nection with the Gorges family until a subsequent period, Thomson was a 
distinct dependent of Sir Ferdinando and the Council for New England. In 
London he had been its agent or attorney, and seems to have represented 
it before the Privy Council. In November, 1622, a patent covering a con- 
siderable grant of land in New England was issued to him ; and early in the 
next year he seems to have come over to take possession of it, bringing 
with him his wife and a few servants. In the Robert Gorges grant of 
Dec. 30, 1622, he is mentioned as " David Thomson, Gent.," 1 and named as 
attorney to enter upon and take possession of the grant, with a view to its 
legal delivery to Gorges. In 1623, when Robert Gorges reached Wessagus- 
set, Thomson was already at Piscataqua in New Hampshire ; and there, 
later in the year, Gorges visited him, meeting Captain Levett, of his council. 
Subsequently, in 1626, Thomson removed to Massachusetts. He died in 
1628, leaving a wife, who was one of those who contributed to the expense 
of Morton's arrest by Standish, and an infant son, to whom the island 
occupied by his father, and which has ever since borne his name, was 
subsequently granted by the General Court of Massachusetts. 2 

In the early summer of 1630, therefore, just prior to the arrival of 
Governor Winthrop, coming to " Mattachusetts " from Salem on the 7th 
of June to "find out a place for our sitting down," the location of the 
" old planters," as they were called, was as follows : At the parent 
settlement of Wessagusset, or Weymouth, there still lived a few families, 
not unprosperously it would appear; as, when Governor Winthrop and 
others visited the place two years later on their way to Plymouth, 
they were, both going and coming, " bountifully entertained with store 
of turkeys, geese, ducks, &c." 3 Of the Wessagusset residents, William 
Jeffreys and John Bursley appear to have been the most prominent; 
and their names only have come down to us. They had then been 
living there nearly seven years. At the entrance to the harbor, at Hull, 
there also dwelt a few " stragling " people ; but whether the Grays were 
among them does not appear. In what is now Quincy, Morton was 
still hanging about Mount Wollaston, though his trade with the Indians 
had been broken up, and he was already marked by the authorities at 
Salem for destruction. He had been there five years. Thomson's widow 
occupied what is now the Farm-school island, having with her an infant son, 
and owning, probably, one or more English servants. In what is now Bos- 
ton, William Blackstone, a solitary, bookish recluse, in his thirty-fifth year, 

1 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vi. 77. Mass. Hist. Soc. Pro,:, May, 1876. Cf. Shurt- 

* [All that is known of Thomson is given in left's Description of Boston, p. 502. ED.] 
Chas. Deane's notes to an Indenture, printed in 3 Winthrop, New England, \. 93. 

8 4 


had a dwelling somewhere on the west slope of Beacon Hill, not far from 
what are now Beacon and Spruce streets, from which he commanded the 
mouth of the Charles. Here he had lived ever since his removal from 
Wessagusset in 1625 or 1626, trading with the savages, cultivating his 
garden, and watching the growth of some apple-treed, 1 Thomas \Vul- 

1 [It is known that Blackstone, in 1634, re- 
serving only six acres, sold out to the colonists 
his right to the remainder of the peninsula, being 
tired of the "lord brethren," as he had before 
his emigration wearied of the "lord bishops," 
and that at this date he removed to an estate, 
which he named " Study Hill," situated near 
the railroad station in the present town of Lons- 
clale, Rhode Island, where he became the first 
white inhabitant of that State. In 1684 Francis 
Hudson, ferryman, aged sixty-eight ; John Odlin, 
aged eighty-two; William Lytherland, aged 
seventy-six ; and Robert Walker, aged seventy- 
eight, all made deposition as to the purchase of 
the peninsula from Blackstone. Suffolk Deeds, 

breast, and back, and bowells ; afterward he 
said he was well, had no paines, and should live ; 
but he grew fainter, and yealded up his breath 
without a groane." 4 Afass. If 1st. Coll., vi. 299; 
also cf. 2 Mass. I fist. Coll., x. 170. Two boulders 
are to this day pointed out as marking his grave. 
He left among his effects " 10 paper books," 
whose destruction shortly after, when the Indians 
burned his house, we must regret, as containing 
possibly some record of his mysterious career. 
The late N. I. Bowditch, in his Gleaner articles 
in the Boston Transcript, 1855-56 (which will 
soon be reprinted at the cost of the city), traced 
back the titles of the territory reserved by Black- 
stone in 1634, and his results would place his 
house and orchard on a plat stretching 
on Beacon Street from near Spruce to 
the water, and back so as to include 
what was later known as West Hill, the 
most westerly of the summits of " Tri- 
mountain." His name continued long 
attached to a bold point of land some- 
where near the foot of Pinckney Street, 
just inside the line of Charles Street. 
Sewall, Papers, \. 186, notes in August, 
1687, "going into the water alone at 
Blackstone's Point," and again in 1709 
he speaks of "behind Blackstone's 
Point." Ibid. ii. 260. It is thought his 
famous spring was situated not far from 
the present Loulsbourg Square. The 
Burgiss map of 1728 is said to present 
in Bannister's garden the site of Black- 
stone's orchard. It is sometimes in 
the later days called Humphrey Davy's 
orchard. The relations to modern streets 
can be seen in the annexed sketch, which 
follows a marking-out of the lots of the 
peninsula according to the Book of Pos- 
sessions, as figured by U. II. Crocker, 

xxiv. 406; Shurtleff, Dese. of Boston, p. 296. 
Sewall records Hudson's death, Nov. 3, 1700, as 
"one of the first who set foot on this peninsula." 
Sewall Papers, ii. 24. Blackstone later revisited 
Boston more than once, and married the widow 
of John Stephenson, who lived on Milk Street 
on the site of the building in which Franklin was 
born. Shurtleff, Boston, p. 616. He died in Cum- 
berland, R. I., May 26, 1675. Roger Williams 
records it, June 13: "About a fortnight since 
your old acquaintance Mr. Blackstone departed 
this life in the fourscore year of his age; four 
days before his death he had a great pain in his 

Esq. The six-acre lot is here bounded by Bea- 
con Street, the dotted line, and the original shore 
line. It is made out in part from a deposition 
of Anne Pollard, aged eighty-nine, in 1711, who 
says that Blackstone visited her house on this lot, 
after he had removed to Rhode Island. Sewall 
Papers, i. 73. It is an area upon which many 
distinguished Bostonians have lived, Copley, 
Phillips (the first mayor), Harrison Gray Otis, 
Channing, Prescott, David Sears, Charles Francis 
Adams, John I.othmp Motley, Francis Parkman, 
and others. Cf. Shurtleff's Boston, pp. 106, 295, 
383, 391 ; T. C. Amory's notes to his poem, 


ford, the blacksmith, with his wife, were his nearest neighbors, living at 
Mishauwum, or Gharlestown, in an " English palisadoed and thatched 
house ; " while a little further off, at East Boston, Samuel Maverick, a man 
of twenty-eight, dwelt in a sort of stronghold or fort, which probably also 
served as the settlers' trading-post. This he had built with the aid of Thom- 
son, some three years previously; and it was armed with four large guns, 
or " murtherers," as a protection against the Indians. It was in fact the first 
of the many forts erected for the protection of those dwelling about Boston 
Harbor; and itis not unnatural to suppose that it was constructed at the 
common cost of the old planters, with the exception of Morton, and was 
regarded as the general place of refuge in case of danger. It only remains 
to be said that all of these settlers belonged to the Church of England, and 
either had been or afterwards became associates and adherents of Sir Fer- 
dinando Gorges. They were all that was left of what had been intended as 
the mere forerunner of a great system of colonization, emanating from the 

Bhjfkstone, Boston's First Inhabitant ; W. W. 
Wheildon's Beacon Hill. What information we 
have of Blackstone can be gleaned from Bliss's 
Rehoboth, p. 2 ; Uaggett's Attleborough, p. 29 ; 
Callender's Hist. Discourse, app. ; S. C. New- 
man's Address at Study Hill, July 4, 1855 ; 
Arnold's Rhode Island, \. 99, ii. 568 ; and par- 
ticularly of his Boston life in Savage's Winthrop, 
i. 44, and Geneal. Dictionary ; Young's Chronicles 
of Mass. ; S. Davis, in 2 Afass. Hist. Coll., x. 170; 
Drake's Boston, p. 95 ; L. M. Sargent, quoted in 
Hist. Mag., December, 1870; North American 
Review, Ixiii., by G. E. Ellis, and Ixviii., by F. 
Bowen. Motley the historian, in his early ro- 
mance, Merry Mount, introduces Blackstone as 
riding on a bull about his peninsula. He 
briefly tells Blackstone's story in "The Soli- 
tary of Shawmut," in the Boston Book of 

The document above referred to is endorsed, 
"John Odlin, &c., their depositions ab r Black- 
ston's Sale of his Land in Boston," and is 
printed by Shurtleff, Desc. of Boston, p. 296, as 
follows : 

"The Deposition of John .Odlin, aged about 
Eighty-two yeares ; Robert Walker, aged about 
Seventy-eight yeares; Francis Hudson, aged 
about Sixty-eight yeares; and William Lyther- 
lancl, aged about Seventy-six yeares. These 
Deponents being ancient dwellers and Inhabit- 
ants ot the Town of Boston, in New England, 
from the time of the first planting and selling 
thereof, and continuing so at this day, do jointly 
testify and depose that in or about the yeare of 
our Lord One thousand Six hundred thirty and 
ffour, the then present Inhabitants of s (1 Town 
of Boston (of whoine the Hono ble John Win- 
throp, Esq r - Governo r of the Colony, was 
Clieife) did treate and agree with M r William 

Blackstone for the purchase of his Estate and 
right in any Lands lying within the s d neck of 
Land called Boston ; and for s d purchase agreed 
that every householder should pay Six Shillings, 
which was accordingly Collected, none paying 
less, some considerably more than Six Shillings, 
and the s d sume Collected was delivered and 
paid to M r - Blackstone to his full content and 
satisfaction ; in consideration whereof hee Sold 
unto the then Inhabitants of s' 1 Town and their 
heires and assignees for ever his whole right 
and interest in all and every of the Lands lying 
within s d neck, Reserving onely unto himselfe 
about Six acres of Land on the point commonly 
called Blackston's Point, on part whereof his 
then dwelling house stood ; after which purchase 
the Town laid out a place for a trayning field, 
which ever since and now is used for that pur- 
pose and for the feeding of Cattell. Robert 
Walker & W m - Lytherland further testify that 
M r Blackstone bought a Stock of Cows with 
the Money he rec d as above, and Removed and 
dwelt near Providence, where he liv'd till y e day 
of his death. 

"Deposed this loth of June, 1684, by John 
Odlin, Robert Walker, Francis Hudson, and 
William Lytherland, according to their respec- 
tive Testimonye, 

" Before us, 

S. BRADSTREET, Goti'n r - 
SAM. SEWALL, Assist." 

Shurtleff notes that Odlin was a cutler by 
trade, and died Dec. 18, 1685. Hudson was the 
fisherman who gave his name to the point of 
the peninsula nearest Charlestown. Walker 
was a weaver, and died May 29, 1687. Lyther- 
land was an Antinomian, who removed to Rhode 
Island and became town clerk of Newport, and 
died very old. Eu.J 



Royalist and Church party in England. The scheme had come to nothing; 
and it now only remained for the next wave of emigration which was to 
originate with the other party in Church and State to so completely sub- 
merge it as to obliterate through more than two centuries every historical 
tradition even of its continuity with what followed. 





Librarian of the A merican A titiquarian Society. 

/'~~*ARLYLE, in his book on Cromwell, 1 refers to our city of Boston 
thus : 

" Rev. John Cotton is a man still held in some remembrance among our New Eng- 
land friends. He had been minister of Boston in Lincolnshire ; carried the name 
across the ocean with him ; fixed it upon a new small home he had found there, which 
has become a large one since, the big, busy capital of Massachusetts, Boston, so 
called. John Cotton, his mark, very curiously stamped on the face of this planet ; 
likely to continue for some time." 

The passage is a very good specimen of Carlyle's mannerism ; but it must 
not be mistaken for correct history. Many errors in recording minor particu- 
lars maybe found in the narratives of early New England authorities, which 
have been adopted and transmitted by later writers ; this is one of them. 
The placing of Endicott's expedition after the procuring of the charter, 
when he really sailed more than eight months before, is another. It is a 
want of precision in them, which indicates that their minds were more occu- 
pied with the great results they had witnessed than with the order of events. 
Hence, a little readjustment of the time and manner of occurrences is some- 
times necessary. Governor Dudley's almost official letter to the Countess 
of Lincoln is described by himself as written by the fireside on his knee, in 
the midst of his family, who " break good manners, and make me many 
times forget what I would say, and say what I would not ; " and that he had 
" no leisure to review and insert things forgotten, but out of due time and 
order must set them down as they come to memory." 2 

1 Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, with Rln- came above eight months before." Prince, An- 
ciJutions, iii. 197. nals, edition of 1826, p. 249. "Governor Bracl- 

2 " Deputy-Governor Dudley, Mr. Hubbard, ford and Mr. Morton seem to mistake in saying 
and others, wrongly place Mr. Endicott's voyage he (Endicott) came with a patent under the 
after the grant of the Royal Charter, whereas he broad seal for the Government of the Massa- 


Hubbard is responsible for the assertion that the neck of land on the 
south side of Charles River was called " Boston," " on account of Mr. Cot- 
ton." 1 Yet the circumstance of bestowing upon the principal town of 
Massachusetts the name of the principal town of the English county of 
Lincolnshire has an historical significance which deserves to be more 
carefully stated. 

Dr. Young 2 was probably right in his opinion that the name " Boston" 
was given, not out of respect for Mr. Cotton particularly, but because so 
many of the prominent men of the colony were from that part of the coun- 
try. It was at a Court held at Charlestown, Sept. 7, 1630, that it was sim- 
ply ordered that Tri-Mountain be called Boston. Mr. Cotton was not men- 
tioned ; and no reason was assigned for selecting that name. It is rather 
singular that Winthrop, in his very particular diary, does not record this 
important act of the General Court. He uses the name for the first time 
about a month later, in stating the fact that a goat died there from eat- 
ing Indian corn, which affords to his editor an occasion to remark : 
" Here is proof that the name of our chief city of New England was given, 
not, as is often said, after the coming of Mr. Cotton, but three years 

Governor Dudley intimates that it had been predetermined to adopt that 
name for whatever place should be chosen for the first settlement, "which 
place we named Boston (as we intended to have done the place we first 
resolved on)." He gives no reason for it. 3 Perhaps a motive may be found 
in the relations of the several interests that were combined in the organiza- 
tion of the colony. 

Various influences were united in the constitution of the Massachusetts 
Company that also affected the policy of the colony. The religious and 
political elements are more marked in the views and purposes of the men 
from the eastern counties of England, usually termed " the Boston men." 
The commercial element existed more visibly among the adventurers from 
the western counties of Dorset and Devon, who were commonly designated 
as " the Dorchester men." The merchants and capitalists of London min- 
gled hopes of profit with the desire to do good and advance the cause of 
religion. Between the Dorchester men, with whom the movement for a 
plantation originated, and the Boston men, who were new associates, there 
is an appearance of competition amicable, doubtless in the matter of 
first establishing and naming a settlement in the new country. The Dor- 

chusetts." Ibid. p. 250. Harris, in his edition the charter itself. Mr. Savage says of Hubbard : 

of Hubbard, tries, we think unsuccessfully, to " He seems to have slighted most of the occur- 

give a different construction to Hubbard's state- rences in which he should have felt the deepest 

ment. Hubbard says in the same place : "The interest, and for anything of date preceding 1630 

Company having chosen Mr. Cradock Governor his information is sometimes authentic, and 

(&c.), sent over Mr. Endicott." Cradock was often curious." Winthrop, New England, \. 

not chosen by the Company till May 13, 1629 297, note. 

(Easter week), the day assigned for elections by 1 Hist, of Nrw England, ch. xxv. 

the charter, after letters had been received from 2 Chronicles of Mass., pp. 48, 49. 

Endicott. The first officers were designated by 3 Letter to the Countess of Lincoln, 


Chester emigrants came in a large and well-appointed ship by themselves. 
They arrived a fortnight sooner than the rest of Winthrop's fleet, and fixing 
upon Mattapan (now South Boston), called it ''Dorchester," expecting it 
to become the principal town ; and there were good reasons for that anticipa- 
tion. Rev. John White, of Dorchester, in England, was the acknowledged 
father of New England colonization; and the existence of the proposed 
colony was chiefly due to his exertions. No other man and no other county 
were so well entitled to such a memorial of services in the first introduc- 
tion of permanent settlements here. 

The situation selected was well supplied with pastures and fields for till- 
age, possessing also a convenient harbor and facilities for trade ; and for 
a time it took the lead among the new plantations. Wood 1 calls Dorches- 
ter " the greatest town in New England." Prince says that Dorchester 
became the first settled church and town in the county of Suffolk, "and in 
all military musters or civil assemblies used to have the precedency." 2 In 
1633, when four hundred pounds were assessed upon the colony, Dorches- 
ter was called upon for one fifth of the whole, eighty pounds, while 
Boston paid only forty-eight pounds. 3 

On the other hand, when the Boston men joined the Massachusetts Com- 
pany, after the two preliminary expeditions had been provided for, and after 
the royal charter had been prepared for signature, their superior wealth and 
standing gave them the ascendency in its councils; and their election to the 
offices of the government placed in their hands the management and con- 
trol of the enterprise. They came over holding the power and responsi- 
bility of an organized community ; and to their authority all previous and 
all subsequent operations became subordinate. When they decided upon 
" Tri-Mountain " as the seat and centre of their jurisdiction, they simply 
gave it the appellation by which, as a body, they were best known in the 
mother country, the name of the place around which their home associa- 
tions were chiefly gathered. Thus it came to pass, legitimately enough, that 
Lincolnshire and its neighborhood of counties acquired the birthright of 
Dorset and Devon. The adopted metropolis naturally became, as Wood 
describes it in the early period, "although neither the greatest nor the 
richest, yet the most noted and frequented, being the centre of the Plan- 
tations where the monthly Courts are kept." 

But a Boston already existed nominally on the coast of New 
England, for which King Charles himself, then only Prince Charles, stood 
godfather fourteen years before. In 1616, when Captain John Smith 
dedicated his famous map, made in 1614, to the Prince, he begged the 
favor of him to change the native names of places for more euphonious 

1 New England's Prospect, London, 1635. England, he having placed the city of London 

2 Annals, edition of 1826, p. 287, note. in this neighborhood. Hist, of Dorchester, by a 
8 The vicinity of Dorchester, Mass., was re- committee of the Dorchester Antiquarian and 

garded by Smith (perhaps we should say by Historical Society, p. 8. [A glance at Smith's 

Prince Charles, who gave the English names) map does not wholly confirm this view of Smith's 

as the probable site of the future capital of New location of London. ED.] 
VOL. I. 12. 

9 o 


appellations. 1 Of course the prospective head of the Church did not intend 
to honor particularly the Non-conformist capital of Lincolnshire, and doubt- 
less, without any special motive, suggested such names as happened to occur 
to him, "Berwick," "Plymouth," "Oxford," "Falmouth," "Bristol," "Cam- 
bridge," " Boston" &c. It is possible that, when asked for a charter to the 
Massachusetts Company, his mind reverted to his examination of Smith's 
map; and this, in connection with the intrinsic advantages of the locality 
for one of the most valuable branches of trade of his dominions, perhaps 
led to the favorable conditions granted to the applicants. It is certain that 
on several subsequent occasions Charles exhibited a mind of his own on the 
subject, and independent sentiments more liberal and friendly than those of 
his ministers and advisers. 2 

The transition from a trading copartnership engaged in the business of 
fishing to the embryo of a religious and political Commonwealth is the 
history of the Massachusetts Company, whose steps are to be now concisely 

While the deeply wooded shores of the northern portion of the continent 
continued in undisturbed barbarism, the fisheries were frequented by gen- 
erations of hardy mariners of different nations, through whom a knowledge 
of their abundant riches was gradually communicated to European countries. 3 
A century of familiar acquaintance with the harbors and islands of the sea 

1 " Humbly intreating his Highness he would 
please to change their barbarous names for such 
English as posterity might say Prince Charles 
was their Godfather." " Whose barbarous 
names you changed for such English that none 
can deny but Prince Charles is their Godfather." 
Smith, Dcsc. of New England. [See Mr. Win- 
sor's chapter in the previous section. ED.] 

2 See Winthrop's New England, i. 102, 103. 
Before leaving this point I wish to refer to a 
paper upon " Anthropology, Sociology, and Na- 
tionality," by D. Mackintosh, F.G.S., read at 
the forty-fifth meeting of the British Association 
for the Advancement of Science, in August, 
1875. In that portion of his lecture which re- 
lated to the ancestors of the British, the writer 
endeavored to show that "between the northeast 
and southwest portions of England, the difference 
in the character of the people is so great as to 
give a semi-nationality to each division. Rest- 
less activity, ambition, and commercial specula- 
tion predominate in the northeast ; contentment 
and leisure of reflection in the southwest." He 
concluded by a reference to the derivation of the 
settlers of New England from the southwest, 
mentioning as a fact that, while a large propor- 
tion of New England surnames are still found in 
Devon and Dorset, there is a small village called 
Boston near Totness, and in its immediate neigh- 
borhood a place called Bunker Hill ! Did some 
English political dissenter of 177531 the Devon- 
shire Boston (near which may now be found 

meeting-houses for Independents, Methodists, 
and .Unitarians) thus signify his sympathy with 
the Boston of New England by christening a 
neighboring hill after the famous battle-field of 
our Revolution ? Local differences of fnanners, 
of dialects, and of temperament are strongly 
marked in England, and betray diversity of an- 
cestral derivation. It is a suitable task for our 
New England Historic Genealogical Society to 
determine whether the southwestern or the north- 
eastern sections of the mother country, or the 
intermediate point of London and its vicinity, 
contributed most largely to the numbers that ulti- 
mately formed the Massachusetts Colony. Ilig- 
ginson, in the journal of his voyage, written from 
New England, July 24, 1629, describes the Com- 
pany of Massachusetts Bay as consisting of many 
worthy gentlemen in the city of London, Dor- 
chester, and other places. He does not mention 
Lincolnshire. The merchants of London already 
took a leading part, but the Lincolnshire men 
had not come to the front when he wrote. Hig- 
ginson writes again, in September, 1629, "There 
are certainly expected here the next spring the 
coming of sixty families out of Dorsetshire. 
Also many families are expected out of Lin- 
colnshire, and a great company of godly Chris- 
tians out of London." Young, Chron. of Mass. 
p. 260. 

8 It is claimed that the first French settle- 
ments originated from this source, and that the 
active participation of Holland in the trade drew 


9 1 

had passed away without plantations or durable stations on land for settle- 
ment or traffic. During this period there would be more or less exchange 
of articles of use or ornament with the natives for furs or provisions. 
Occasionally a ship or boat would be wrecked, and the brass kettles of 
the fishermen, transmuted into breast-plates and decorations of metal, fur- 
nished materials for " The Skeleton in Armor," and other supposed relics of 
the Northmen. 1 Mr. Sabine,in his learned Report to Congress, in 1853, on 
American fisheries, carries back the trade as a regular employment as far as 
A. D. 1504. The Biscayan sailors of France and Spain led the way, while 
the merchants of Holland were more prompt than those of England in 
securing its profits. The earlier American fisheries were chiefly in the 
neighborhood of Newfoundland. The particular fisheries of Massachusetts 
Bay did not commence till about 1618 or 1619. The Council established 
at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, and govern- 
ing of New England in America, succeeded to the Northern Company of 
Virginia as proprietors of the portion of the continent between the fortieth 
and forty-eighth degree of latitude on the 3d of November, 1620, and all 
British subjects were prohibited from visiting and trafficking into or from 
the said territories, unless with the license and consent of the Council first 
obtained under seal. 

In 1622 the President and Council of New England published an 
account of their condition, the difficulties they had encountered, their 
proposed plans, &c., which was dedicated to Prince Charles, on whom they 
relied for encouragement and assistance. 2 It contains a summary of the 
past history of the Council, and affords very satisfactory reasons why thus 
far they had made no progress ; and also tends to explain why it is that 

the attention of the Pilgrims to this particular 
place of refuge ; while, again, the cod-fisheries 
of the New England seaboard, whose emblem 
has so conspicuously figured in our popular hall 
of legislation, first brought hither the merchant 
ships of the southern ports of Great Britain. 

1 It seems safe to say at this time that no 
authentic vestiges of Scandinavian occupancy 
have ever been discovered in New England. 
See Mass. Hist. Soc. Proe., April, 1880, for re- 
marks of George Dexter, Esq., on communicat- 
ing a letter of Erasmus Rask to Henry Wheaton. 
[A chapter by Mr. Dexter in this volume covers 
this question. ED.] 

'* A Brief Relation of the Discovery and Plan- 
tation of Neiu England, London, 1622, reprinted 
in 2 iVass. Hist. Coll. ix. The beginning of the 
dedication is significant of the good will of 
Prince Charles towards American colonization, 
as well as of his knowledge of the country. 
" And for the subject of this relation, as your 
highness hath been pleased to do it the honor 
by giving it the name of New England, and by 
your most favorable encouragement to continue 

the same in life and being, so ought we to render 
an account of our proceedings from the root 
thereof unto the present growth it hath," &c. 
It seems that after their patent passed the seals 
in 1620, "it was stopped, upon new suggestions 
to the King, and referred to the Privy Council 
to be settled." "These disputes held us almost 
two years, so as all men were afraid to join with 
us," &c. " But having passed all these storms 
abroad, and undergone so many home-bred op- 
positions and freed our patent, which we were 
by order of state assigned to renew for the 
amendment of some defects therein contained, 
we were assured of this ground more boldly to 
proceed on than before." It is just at this point 
that the records begin, and it was just at this 
period that the fisheries were becoming very 
profitable. Hence it was the time of effort and 
activity on the part of the Council, and also 
the time when inducements to emigration were 
the strongest. Thus it happened for a year or 
two that there was a demand for grants from the 
Council, and a swarming of adventurers to the 
Bay of Massachusetts. 


the two copies of their records which have been brought to light within a 
few years have their first entries so late as May, I622. 1 

During the few years of prosperity in the fishing business, the Council 
made great exertions to secure their monopoly and to establish their 

authority on land ; but they lost courage 
and energy as soon as the business of fishing 
was broken up by the Spanish and French 
wars, causing a loss of the best customers 
and great hazard to navigation. The re- 
action began in 1624, when the war with 
Spain commenced, and was made com- 
plete by the additional war with France in 
1626, and the civil dissensions at home. 
But all those things were preparing the 
way for the rise of a very different scries 
of operations under very different auspices. 
John White, of Dorchester, a Puritan 
minister, but not a Non-conformist, whose 
parishioners and friends were actively en- 
gaged in the business of fishing, being 

troubled at the godless life and unruly condition of the men employed 
by them (and having some views of his own about plantations, which 
he subsequently embodied in a tract), conceived the idea of establishing 
a settlement on the land. His purpose was to furnish assistance to 
the crews in the busy season, to provide supplies of provisions and other 
necessaries by cultivating the soil and trafficking with the natives, and to 
afford religious instruction to both planters and sailors. To this end, 
about 1624, he raised a common stock of three thousand pounds, and pur- 


1 Among the irregular proceedings of the 
Council for New England was an early attempt 
to divide the territory embraced in their patent 
among their members ; a measure which did not 
acquire a legal validity. But the Earl of Shef- 
field, in whose portion Cape Ann was included, 
acting upon his anticipated right, conveyed five 
hundred acres there to Robert Cushman and 
Edward Winslow, their associates and assigns, 
with the "free use of the Bay and islands, and 
free liberty to fish and trade in all other places in 
New England." It was this conveyance (which 
came to nothing) that led to John Smith's state- 
ment in his Genera// Historic, p. 247, "that there 
is a plantation beginning by the Dorchester men 
which they hold of those of New Plymouth." 
The story is very well told by Mr. Thornton in 
his Landing at Cape Anne, 1624. His principal 
mistake was in giving too much significance to 
what was in reality one of the least important 
incidents of the period, having little or no bearing 
on subsequent events. [The matter of this abor- 
tive division of territory above referred to is fur- 

ther explained in Mr. Adams's chapter of this 
volume, and the map showing it is explained in 
Mr. Winsor's. For further, on Conant's Com- 
pany, see Felt's Salem; George D. Phippen in 
Essex Institute Collections, i. 97, 145, 185 ; A r . E. 
Hist, and Geneal. Reg., July, 1848; Bradford's Ply- 
mouth Plantation, Deane's note, p. 169. Hub- 
bard's most valuable chapter is that on Conant, 
and his facts may have been derived from Conant 
himself. It is given in part in Young's Chron- 
icles of Massachusetts. En.] 

2 [An account of the seal, with the reasons for 
believing this to be the seal, is given by Charles 
Deane in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1867. 
Dr. Palfrey adopts Mr. Deane's conclusions. 
The patent creating the Council will be found in 
Hazard's Collections, i. 103 ; in Brigham's Ply- 
mouth Laws; in Baylics's Plymouth Colony, 
i. 160; in the Popham Memorial, p. iro, and 
in Trumbull's Connecticut, i. 546. The petition 
for it can l>e found in the Colonial History of 
Nttv )'<'//, iii., and the warrant in Gorges' 
England. Eu.] 


chased first a small ship which brought over fourteen men, who were left 
at Cape Ann. The New Plymouth men, and perhaps others, had stages at 
that place for drying and curing fish, and it was now selected for a per- 
manent plantation. He did not hesitate to make use of the disaffected 
persons from the little colony at Plymouth who had located themselves 
there and at Nantasket, and selected the most trustworthy among them to 
manage the new enterprise. 

The associates in England struggled for three years against constant loss, 
till their capital was expended with no favorable results, when, becoming 
discouraged, they dissolved the company on land and sold their shipping and 
provisions. " The ill choice of the place for fishing, the ill carriage of the 
men at the settlement, and ill sales for the fish " are assigned by Mr. White 
as reasons for the bad results of the adventure. In brief, the stock was ex- 
pended with no returns, the settlers quarrelled with those from New Ply- 
mouth, and among themselves, till the community of three years' duration 
fell to pieces, and its members who desired to leave the country were helped 
to do so. 

In the mean time, however, there were four " honest and prudent 
men" Roger Conant, John Woodberry, John Balch, and Peter Palfrey, 
from the settlement who had removed to Naumkeag (now Salem), and 
resolved to stay in Massachusetts if they were sustained by encouragement 
from England. On receiving an intimation to this effect, Mr. White 
wrote to them that if they would remain he would " provide a patent 
for them, and send them whatever they should write for, either men, or 
provisions, or goods, for trade with the Indians." Through the influ- 
ence of Conant they were kept to their engagement, and are entitled to 
the consideration of being among the originators of the Massachusetts 
Company. 1 

There are three contemporary statements of what was done at this par- 
ticular juncture, representing three different points of view. One of these 
is that of Mr. White, the leader of the movement in the counties of Dor- 
set and Devon. Another is by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, the President of the 
Council for New England, and the chief manager of its affairs. The third 
is the letter of Thomas Dudley to the Countess of Lincoln, showing his 
impression of the time and manner in which the " Boston men " of the 
eastern counties became connected with the scheme of a settlement in 
Massachusetts Bay. Hubbard, the historian, wrote fifty years later, having 
been a young man when the events occurred. 

1 "Conant," says Hubbard, "secretly con- answer his people before they call, as he had 

ceiving in his mind that in following times (as filled the heart of that good man, Mr. Conant, 

since has fallen out) it might prove a receptacle in New England, with courage and resolution 

for such as upon the account of religion would be to abide fixed in his purpose, notwithstanding 

willing to begin a foreign plantation in this part all opposition and persuasion he met with to the 

of the world, of which he gave some intimation to contrary, had also inclined the hearts of several 

his friends in England." Hist, of Nnv England, others in England to be at work about the same 

And " that God," says White, " who is ready to design." Planter's Plea. 


Mr. White's account, in the Planter 's Plea, printed in 1630, is brief, and 
does not refer to his own services. 1 

" Some then of the adventurers that still continued their desire to set forward the 
plantation of a Colony there, conceiving that if some more cattle were sent over to 
those few men left behind, they might not only be a means of the comfortable subsist- 
ing of such as were already in the country, but of inviting some other of their Friends 
and Acquaintance to come over to them, adventured to send over twelve Kine and 
Bulls more ; and conferring casually with some gentlemen of London, moved them to 
add as many more. By which occasion the business came to agitation afresh in Lon- 
don, and being at first approved by some and disliked by others, by argument and dis- 
putation it grew to be more vulgar ; insomuch that some men shewing some good 
affection to the work, and offering the help of their purses if fit men might be pro- 
cured to go over, inquiry was made whether any would be willing to engage their per- 
sons in the voyage. . . . Hereupon divers persons having subscribed for the raising of 
a reasonable sum of money, a Patent was granted with large encouragements every 
way by his most Excellent Majesty." 

It will be observed that no mention is made by Mr. White of the grant 
from the Council for New England. After the Royal Charter the grant from 
the Council apparently was regarded as of little consequence, and it has 
not been preserved except in citations from it contained in the Char- 
ter. The conveyance, bearing date March 19, 1627-28, was made to six 
persons, doubtless the friends alluded to by Mr. White as offering the use 
of their purses, Sir Henry Rosewell and Sir John Young, knights, 
both of Devonshire ; Thomas Southcoat, presumed to be of Devonshire ; 
John Humfrey, who had been treasurer of the fishing company, whose 
wife was daughter of Thomas, third Earl of Lincoln ; John Endicott, of 
Dorchester, the leader of the first party of emigrants ; and Simon Whet- 
comb, perhaps of London, subsequently an Assistant, constant in his 
attendance at the meetings of the Company in London, and a liberal con- 
tributor to its expenses. 

The first portion of the records of the Council for New England, as we 
have them, extends from Saturday, the last of May 1622, to Sunday, Juns 
29, 1623, inclusive. The second portion begins the 4th of November, 1631. 
The patent to the friends of the Massachusetts Company comes between these 
periods, and no official account of the circumstances attending the applica- 
tion for it and its being granted is known to exist. The years 1622 and 
1623 were those of hopeful expectation on the part of the New England 
Council. They were looking for an amended charter for themselves from 
the Crown, and trying to raise money for their operations in the failure of 
their members to pay their dues. They clung to their aristocratic ideas, but 
were anxious to admit untitled persons to fellowship so far as might be 

1 Mr. White is described as " a person of great Chester," &c. Echard, I fist, of England, p. 653. 

gravity and presence," and as always having great To these titles have been added those of " Father 

influence with the Puritan party, " who bore him of the Massachusetts Colony," and " Patriarch of 

more respect than they did to their diocesan." New England." Fuller, Worthies of England ; 

He is styled " famous," " the Patriarch of Dor- Callender, Hist. Discourse. 


necessary to secure their capital and their services. In their new " Grand 
Patent, to be held of the Crown of England by the Sword," it was resolved 
to call the country " Nova Albion," and to have power given to create titles 
of honor and precedency. They proposed to admit new associates on the 
payment of 110, " provided that they, so to come in, be persons of Honor 
or Gentlemen of blood (except only six Merchants, to be admitted by us 
for the service and special employment of the said Council in the course of 
trade and commerce, who shall enjoy such liberties and immunities as are 
thereunto belonging.'") 

It is not impossible that the grant to the six friends of Mr. White, for 
purposes of settlement, was a modification of the idea of admitting six mer- 
chants to partnership for the sake of their practical utility. There is a 
degree of mystery attending the transaction for which no means of positive 
solution exist. 

It is expressly charged by Sir Ferdinando Gorges that changes were 
privately made in the terms and extent of the grant, through some influence 
of which he was not cognizant, affecting his own interests and those of his 
son. He says that the Council for New England were in a state of " such 
a disheartened weakness as there only remained a carcass in a manner 
breathless, when there were certain that desired a patent of some lands in 
Massachusetts Bay to plant upon, who presenting the names of honest and 
religious men easily obtained their first desires ; but, these being once got- 
ten, they used other means to advance themselves a step from beyond their 
first proportions to a second grant surreptitiously gotten of other lands also 
justly passed unto some of us, who were all thrust out by these intruders 
that had exorbitantly bounded their grant from East to West through all 
that main land from sea to sea. . . . But herewith not yet being content, 
they obtained, unknown to us, a confirmation of all this from His Majesty, 
by which means they did not only enlarge their first extents . . . but wholly 
excluded themselves from the publick government of the Council authorized 
for those affairs, and made themselves a free people." l 

In their irregular modes of doing business, the execution of papers was 
often left to different officers or members of the Council, the seal serving as 
a sufficient emblem of authority. Especially must this have been the case 
in the period of which no record remains, between 1624 and 1629, when the 
Council was compared by Gorges to " a dead carcass." 

It seems to have been the impression of the Council, as represented by 
Gorges, their most active member, that the grant to the friends of Mr. White 
was intended to be merely a place for a settlement in Massachusetts Bay, 
where they were to be subject to the authority of the Council and to serve 
the interests of that body as the six merchants before mentioned might have 
done ; the enlargement of territory and privileges being the private work 

1 Resignation of the Great Charter of New [The document of resignation is given in Ha/- 
England, April 25, 1635, in Proceedings of the ard's Historical Collections i. 390. ED.] 
American Antiquarian Society, April, 1867. 


of some friend or friends, whose position in the Council gave the power to 
make such changes. There is but one person, so far as known, whose offi- 
cial relation to the Council would enable him to accomplish that purpose, 
and whose personal interest in the object would have prompted the act. 
The Earl of Warwick was an ardent promoter of the Puritan movement. 
When the records, which closed in June, 1623, with a formal division of New 
England among the remnant of the patentees, (twenty from the original 
forty), commence again in November 1631, the Earl of Warwick is president, 
his predecessor, Gorges, being treasurer. The old names have mostly dis- 
appeared from the minutes of the meetings, which were held at Warwick 
House, where very few, chiefly new members, were accustomed to attend. 
The books and papers and the seal were in possession of the Earl, who for 
some reason, when called upon to produce them, omitted to do so. He was, 
of course, treated with great respect; but when he was in vain desired to 
" direct a course for finding out what patents have been granted for New 
England," and when the Great Seal had been repeatedly called for without 
effect, those who represented the pecuniary interest of the remaining asso- 
ciates, growing uneasy, voted to hold their meetings elsewhere, and Warwick 
appears no more among them. 

Gorges' narrative of transactions at the time of the grant to the Massa- 
chusetts Company, printed in 1658, when affairs had long been settled, shows 
that he was then absent from London, and had been applied to by Warwick 
for his consent : 

" Some of the discreeter sort, to avoid what they found themselves subject unto, 
made use of their friends to procure from the Council for the affairs of New England 
to settle a colony within their limits ; to which it pleased the thrice-honored Lord of 
Warwick to write to me, then at Plymouth, to condescend that a patent might be 
granted to such as then sued for it. Whereupon I gave my approbation so far forth 
as it might not be prejudicial to my son Robert Gorges' interests, whereof he had 
a patent under the seal of the Council. 1 Hereupon there was a grant passed as was 
thought reasonable ; but the same was aftenvards enlarged by His Majesty and con- 
firmed under the great seal of England." 

It might very well happen, in their careless way of conducting such oper- 
ations, that a vote of those present at the meeting of the Council would 
empower the President, or a Committee, to execute an instrument according 
to their judgment of what was advisable and proper. The alleged interests 
of Robert Gorges were doubtless believed to possess no legal validity. 
Under the circumstances of the case, and regarding the Council as incapa- 
ble of accomplishing any successful results by its own efforts, the bold idea 
of creating an independent proprietorship, of liberal extent, for actual settle- 

1 The patent of Robert Gorges, conveying Mass. p. 51 ; Mass. Archives, Lands, i. i ; 3 Mass. 
ten miles in length and thirty miles into the Hist. Coll. vi. [Cf. Mr. C. F. Adams Jr.'s chap- 
land on the northeast side of Massachusetts ter in the present volume. A reprint of Gorges 
Hay, was disregarded by subsequent grantees will be found in 3 Massachusetts Historical Col- 
as invalid, partly for its uncertainty. Hutchin- lections, vi., and in Maine Historical Collections, 
son, Hist, of Mass. i. 14; Young, Chronicles of iii. El).] 


ment by an earnest body of men, might naturally and honestly appear to the 
Earl of Warwick to present the wisest course for the Council to adopt. In 
view of the Council's probable dissolution, he might also deem it advisable 
that the records of the many irregular proceedings, causing confusion and 
conflict of titles, should not be left as the seeds of future controversy. The 
account books and registers of the corporation have disappeared, and what are 
called the Records are supposed to be only transcripts used in the Parliamen- 
tary examinations to which the Council were subjected. Whether placed in 
some secret depository at Warwick House, or committed to the flames, they 
carry with them the history of a multitude of ineffectual endeavors, from 
which only two of their members, Gorges and Mason, reaped any perma- 
nent results ; and these were in localities not interfering with the claims and 
rights of the Massachusetts Company. The rise of this company, limited as 
it was, comparatively, in its jurisdiction, is considered as giving the death- 
blow to the Great Council for New England. That unwieldy corporation, 
after seeking in vain to cause a revocation of the Massachusetts Charter, 
ultimately declared it to be a reason for the surrender of their own. 1 

Besides the persons named in the charter from the Crown, additional to 
the six original grantees, many persons of wealth and consideration came 
forward to promote its design. Headquarters, as had been the case with 
the Council for New England, were established at London, and before the 
royal sanction had been officially secured operations were fairly in progress. 
Yet it was only at great cost and by means of high influence that the over- 
ruling grant from the Throne was carried through its formalities, and passed 
the seals on the 4th of March, 1629. Thus nearly a year had passed 
since the grant from the Council on the I9th of March, i628. 2 But the 
Company did not wait for either of these legal securities. The first date 
in their records is March 16, 1628, when without organization they were en- 
gaged in fitting out Endicott's expedition. He sailed on the 2Oth of June 
following. Favorable letters being received from him on Feb. 13, 1629, 
preparations were hastened for another and larger emigration. Endicott 
was made Governor of the Colony, and a form of government drawn up for 
his direction. 3 On the 23rd of March, letters were received from Isaac 

1 [The declaration of reasons, &c., will be 8 It was just at this point of time that the 
found in Hazard's Collections, i. A manuscript men from Lincolnshire and other eastern coun- 
of this declaration is in the Massachusetts His- ties, encouraged by Endicott's letters, present- 
torical Society's cabinet. Proceedings, April, ed themselves for admission to the Company. 
1868, p. 161. ED.] "2 d March, 1628-29. Also it being propounded 

2 [It was under this grant that the limits of by Mr. Coney in behalf of the Boston men 
Massachusetts were fixed three miles north of (whereof divers had promised, though not in 
the Merrimac, a trace of which remains in the our book underwritten) to adventure ^400 for 
zigzag line of our present northeastern boundary, the common stock, that now their desire was 
following a parallel of the river. The southern that 10 persons of them might underwrite ^25 a 
bounds were three miles south of the Charles, and man in the joint stock, they withal promising 
gave rise to much dispute with the Ply- 
mouth people. The tortuous river, with 

all its southern affluents, offered ground 
for much diversity of opinion. See Brad- 
ford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 369. ED.] 
VOL. I. 13. 


Johnson, a son-in-law of the Earl of Lincoln, giving notice that " one Mr. 
Higgeson, of Leicester, an able minister, proffers to go to our plantation." 
On the 8th of April Francis Higginson and Samuel Skelton sign an 
agreement to that end; and on the 25th the second expedition set sail, 
carrying those ministers and three hundred passengers with them. 1 

On the 28th of July Governor Cradock " read certain propositions, con- 
ceived by himself," giving reasons for transferring the government to Mas- 
sachusetts ; but at this point another writer takes up the story in the follow- 
ing chapter. 

Thus the Massachusetts Company in England, having accomplished its 
great purpose, was merged in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. Those 
members who remained in the mother country retained an organization, 
and endeavored by small appropriations of land and some advantages of 
trade to leave chances of compensation for the money they had expended. 
Nothing, however, ever came of those uncertain provisions. No list of 
members was entered in their records ; but among the names casually men- 
tioned (about one hundred in number), as contributors or associates, 1 will 
be found many prominently connected with the revolutionary events which 
changed the kingdom of Great Britain to a commonwealth. 2 

with those ships to adventure in their particular 
alone above -250 more, and to provide able men 
to send over for managing the business." Mass. 
Company Records. [The instructions to Endicott 
are given in the Mass. Records, i. 2, ii. 383 ; Amer. 
Antiq. Soc. Coll., iii. 79; and in Hazard's Collec- 
tions, i. 236, 359. The original authorities on 
this settlement are these : A Narrative of the 
Planting of the Massachusetts Colony, which 
Joshua Scottow, then in a somewhat senile 
frame of mind, but who had been a well-to-do 
and active Boston merchant for many years, 
printed in 1694. There are copies of the orig- 
inal edition in the Massachusetts Historical 
Society's library (Proceedings, i. 447), and it is 
printed in their Collections, fourth series, iv. 
(Mr. Savage gives a notice of Scottow in 2 
Mass. Hist. Coll., iv. 100. Cf. Tyler's American 
Literature, i. 94.) Johnson's Wonderworking 
Prm'idence, noticed elsewhere in this volume. 
Higginson's New England Plantation, July to 
September, 1629, of which three editions were is- 
sued in 1630 (all are in the Lenox Library; copies 
also in Harvard College Library, &c.) ; and it is 
reprinted in Young, Force's Tracts, i., and in 
Mass. Hist. Coll., i. There is a second-hand ac- 
count in Morton's Memorial. There has been 
some unsatisfactory controversy as to whom the 

title of first Governor of Massachusetts rightfully 
belongs, but it has all arisen from a lack of clear 
perception of the facts, or from inexactness of 
terms. The conditions are clearly stated in the 
following chapter. Cf., further, S. F. Haven in 
Amer. Antiq. Soc. Coll., iii. p. c. ; Savage's note 
to Winthrop's New England, ii. 200; Gray, 
Mass Reports, ix. 451 ; R. C. Winthrop's Life of 
John Winlhrop, i. ch. xvii., ii. ch. ii. ; Essex In- 
stitute Hist. Coll., v. and viii. ED.] 

1 Mass. Company Records. 

' 2 The Records (so called) of the Council for 
New England may be found in the Proceedings 
of the American Antiquarian Society of April, 
1867, and October, 1875, edited by Mr. Deane, 
whose able exposition of the character and ter- 
mination of both corporations occupies a follow- 
ing chapter of the present work. [The reader 
is also referred to Dr. Haven's paper on 
the origin of the Massachusetts Company in 
the American Antiquarian Society's Collections, 
iii., and to his "History of the Grants under the 
Great Council for New England," in the Lowell 
Lectures, 1869, by the Massachusetts Historical 
Society. The Records of the Massachusetts 
Company are printed in the Afiiss. Records, pub- 
lished by the State, i. 21, and in Young's Chron- 
icles of Mass. ED.) 





President of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 

r I ^HE History of The Massachusetts Bay Company has been brought 
-L down, in a previous chapter, to the last week of the month of July, 
1629. On the 28th day of that month, a momentous movement, fraught 
with most important results for the infant Colony, was made in the General 
Court of the Company. At a meeting holden at the house of the Deputy- 
Governor (Thomas Goffe) in London, Matthew Cradock, the Governor of 
the Company, " read certain propositions conceived by himself; viz., that 
for the advancement of the plantation, the inducing and encouraging 
persons of worth and quality to transplant themselves and families thither, 
and for other weighty reasons therein contained, to transfer the govern- 
ment of the plantation to those that shall inhabit there, and not to con- 
tinue the same in subordination to the Company here, as it now is." 

It is much to be regretted that the Paper containing these propositions 
is not to be found, but the language thus given from the original Records 
indicates, clearly and precisely, the condition of things then existing in the 
Plantation at Salem, and the radical change which was contemplated by 
Governor Cradock. The Government then existing at Salem is styled a 
Government " in subordination to the Company here ; " that is, in London. 
The proposition of Cradock was, that this Government shall no longer be 
" continued as it now is," but shall be " transferred to those that shall 
inhabit there." 

The proposition was too important to be the subject of hasty decision, 
and the Records state that, " by reason of the many great and considerable 
consequences thereupon depending, it was not now resolved upon." The 
members of the Company were requested to consider it " privately and 
seriously;" "to set down their particular reasons pro et contra, and to 
produce the same at the next General Court; where, they being reduced 
to heads and maturely considered of, the Company may then proceed to 
a final resolution thereon." In the mean time, the members were " desired 
to carry this business secretly, that the same be not divulged." 


This call for " private and serious " consideration ; this demand for par- 
ticular reasons, on both sides, set down in writing; and this solemn in- 
junction of secrecy, furnish abundant proof that the Company understood 
how important and how bold a measure their Governor had proposed to 
them. It was no mere measure of emigration or colonization. It was 
a measure of government; of self-government; of virtual independence. 
It clearly foreshadowed that spirit of impatience under foreign control 
which, at a later day, was to pervade not only the Colony of Massachusetts 
Bay, but the whole American Continent. 

The General Court of the Company now adjourned, as usual, to the 
following month.- They met again, to consider this momentous matter, on 
the 28th day of August, 1629; but the interval had not been unimproved 
by those who desired to have it wisely and rightly decided. It had cost 
them, we may well believe, many an anxious hour of deliberation and 
consultation ; and, two days only before the meeting of the Court, an 
Agreement had been finally drawn up and subscribed, which was to settle 
the whole question. 

This Agreement was entered into and executed at Cambridge, beneath 
the shadows, and probably within the very walls, of that venerable University 
of Old England, to which New England was destined to owe so many of 
her brightest luminaries and noblest benefactors. It bore date August 26, 
1629 ; and was in the following words : 


" Upon due consideration of the state of the Plantation now in hand for New 
England, wherein we, whose names are hereunto subscribed, have engaged ourselves, 
and having weighed the greatness of the work in regard of the consequence, God's 
glory and the Church's good ; as also in regard of the difficulties and discourage- 
ments which in all probabilities must be forecast upon the prosecution of this busi- 
ness ; considering withal that this whole adventure grows upon the joint confidence 
we have in each other's fidelity and resolution herein, so as no man of us would have 
adventured it without assurance of the rest ; now, for the better encouragement of 
ourselves and others that shall join with us in this action, and to the end that every 
man may without scruple dispose of his estate and affairs as may best fit his prepara- 
tion for this voyage ; it is fully and faithfully AGREED amongst us, and every one of 
us doth hereby freely and sincerely promise and bind himself, in the word of a 
Christian, and in the presence of God, who is the searcher of all hearts, that we will 
so really endeavor the prosecution of this work, as by God's assistance, we will be 
ready in our persons, and with such of our several families as are to go with us, and 
such provision as we are able conveniently to furnish ourselves withal, to embark for 
the said Plantation by the first of March next, at such port or ports of this land as 
shall be agreed upon by the Company, to the end to pass the Seas, (under God's 
protection,) to inhabit and continue in New England : Provided always, that before 
the last of September next, the whole Government, together with the patent for the 
said Plantation, be first, by an order of Court, legally transferred and established to 
remain with us and others which shall inhabit upon the said Plantation ; and provided, 


also, that if any shall be hindered by such just and inevitable let or other cause, to be 
allowed by three parts of four of these whose names are hereunto subscribed, then 
such persons, for such times and during such lets, to be discharged of this bond. 
And we do further promise, every one for himself, that shall fail to be ready through 
his own default by the day appointed, to pay for every day's default the sum of ^3, 
to the use of the rest of the company who shall be ready by the same day and time. 







The leading Proviso of this memorable agreement must not fail to be 
noted : 

" Provided always, that before the last of September next, the whole Government, 
together with the patent for the said Plantation, be first, by an order of Court, legally 
transferred and established to remain with us and others which shall inhabit upon 
the said Plantation." 

This was the great condition upon which Saltonstall, and Dudley, and 
Johnson, and Winthrop, and the rest, agreed so solemnly " to pass the 
seas (under God's protection), to inhabit and continue in New England." 

They were not proposing to go to New England as adventurers or 
traffickers ; not for the profits of a voyage, or the pleasure of a visit ; but 
" to inhabit and continue " there. And they were unwilling to do this 
while any merely subordinate jurisdiction was to be exercised there, as 
was now the case, and while they would be obliged to look to a Governor 
and Company in London for supreme authority. They were resolved, if 
they went at all, to carry " the whole Government" with them. 

Accordingly, at the meeting of the General Court of the Company on 
the 28th of August (two days only after this Agreement was signed), 
Mr. Deputy, in the Governor's absence, acquainted the Court " that the 
especial cause of their meeting was to give answer to divers gentlemen, 
intending to go into New England, whether or no the Chief Government 
of the Plantation, together with the Patent, should be settled in New 
England, or here." Two Committees were thereupon appointed to pre- 
pare arguments, the one " for " and the other " against " " the settling of 
the chief government in New England," with instructions to meet the 
next morning, at seven of the clock, to confer and weigh each other's 
arguments, and afterwards to make report to the whole Company. On 
the next morning, at the early hour which had been appointed, the 
Committees met together, and debated their arguments and reasons on 
both sides; and after a long discussion in presence of the Company, Mr. 
Deputy put it to the question as follows : - 


" As many of you as desire to have the patent and the government of the Plan- 
tation to be transferred to New England, so as it may be done legally, hold up your 
hands ; so many as will not, hold up your hands." 

And thereupon the decision of the question is thus entered upon the 
Records : 

" Where, by erection of hands, it appeared, by the general consent of the Com- 
pany, that the government and patent should be settled in New England, and 
accordingly an order to be drawn up." 

Nearly two months more were still to intervene before this declaration 
of Independence was to assume a more practical shape. Many incidental 
arrangements occupied the attention of the Company at their meetings in 
September and October. On the 2oth of this latter month, however 
(1629), a further step forward was taken, and one which betokened that 
there were to be no steps backward, " nulla vestigia rctrorsum" On 
that day, Governor Cradock " acquainted those present that the especial 
^ - ^ occasion of summoning this Court was for 

I Jvi^fr/fcCf, JL/ 3P,jQ Jj_ *l ie election of a new Governor, Deputy, 

V/\ "^^tfW'Vr - anc j Assistants; the Government being 

^ to be transferred into New England, 

according to the former order and resolution of the Company ; " and 

soon afterwards, some other business having been previously transacted, 

the following entry is found in the Records : 

" And now the Court, proceeding to the election of a new Governor, Deputy, and 
Assistants, which, upon serious deliberation, hath been and is conceived to be for 
the especial good and advancement of their affairs ; and having received extraordinary 
great commendations of Mr. JOHN WvNTHROP, 1 both for his integrity and sufficiency, 
as being one every (way) well fitted and accomplished for the place of Governor, 
did put in nomination for that place the said Mr. John Winthrop, Sir R. Saltonstall, 
Mr. Is. Johnson, and Mr. John Humfry : and the said Mr. Winthrop was, with a 
general vote, and full consent of this Court, by erection of hands, chosen to be 
Governor for the ensuing year, to begin on this present day ; who was pleased to 
accept thereof, and thereupon took the oath to that place appertaining." 

Mr. John Humfrey was then, in like manner, chosen Deputy-Governor; 
and Sir Richard Saltonstall, Mr. Isaac Johnson, Mr. Thomas Dudley, Mr. 
John Endicott, and fourteen others, were chosen to be Assistants. 

John Winthrop, who was thus, on the 2Oth day of October, 1629, old 
style, or the 3Oth, as we should now reckon it, unanimously elected Gov- 
ernor of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and with whose career and 
character the fortunes of Massachusetts were to be so closely associated 
for the next twenty years, was then in the forty-first year of his age. 
He was born at Edwardston, near Groton, in Suffolk, on the I2th day of 

1 The name of Winthrop is spelled three or four different ways in these Records. This 
very paragraph uses y in one line, and /' in others. And so it is with other names. 


January, 1587, old style, or, as,it would now be counted, the 22d of January, 
1588. His grandfather, Adam Winthrop, the second of that name on the 
family pedigree, was a wealthy Clothier of Suffolk, to whom the Manor 
of Groton had been granted by Henry VIII. in 1544, immediately after 
the Reformation, of which he and his family were zealous supporters, 
and he had been Master of the great Cloth Workers' Company in London, 
in 1551. His third son, Adam, a lawyer, who had graduated at Mag- 
dalen College, Cambridge, and had been afterwards connected with that 
University as Auditor of Trinity and St. John's Colleges, married, in 
1574, Alice Still, a sister of Dr. John Still, then Master of Trinity, and 
afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells. She dying, without surviving issue, 
he married, secondly, Anne, a daughter of Henry Browne of Edwardston. 
Of this marriage, John, the Governor, was the only son. There is ample 
evidence, in his life and writings, that he must have enjoyed a good 
education ; but it has not been ascertained at what schools it was com- 
menced, or how far it was prosecuted beneath the paternal roof. But 
we learn from his father's Diary that he was admitted into Trinity Col- 
lege, Cambridge, on the 8th of December, 1602, and that he remained 
at the University for two years. An early love-match prevented him 
from staying to take a Degree. He was married on the i6th of April, 
1604, in the first half of his eighteenth year, to Mary Forth, daughter 
and sole heiress of John Forth, Esq., of Great Stambridge, in the County 
of Essex. 

Of the life of Winthrop for the next ten or twelve years but few details 
are to be found, and those chiefly of a domestic character. He resided for 
several years with his wife's family at Great Stambridge. The wife of his 
youth bore him six children, the eldest of whom, born on the 22d of Feb- 
ruary, 1606, is known to history as the Governor of Connecticut. Nine 
years afterwards, in 1615, his wife died, and he was left a widower, in his 
twenty-eighth year. After an interval of less than a year (according to the 
customs of that period), he was married again to Thomasine Clopton, 
daughter of William Clopton, Esq., of Castleins, a seat near Groton. But 
a year and a day only had elapsed since her marriage, when she and her 
infant child were committed to the grave. No wonder that, under such 
successive and severe bereavements, his spirit should have been sorely 
tried. No wonder that he was oppressed with melancholy, and that he 
should have been led to conceive and entertain many misgivings as to 
his religious condition. He gave himself to the study of divinity, and 
seriously contemplated an abandonment of his profession as a lawyer, 
with a view to take orders as a clergyman. His " Religious Experiences," 
as recorded by himself from time to time, during a period of three years, 
furnish a striking testimony to his Christian faith and character, and have 
a charm not unlike that which belongs to the devotional writings of Baxter 
or Bunyan. But his father and friends dissuaded him from any change of 
his profession ; and we find him, not many years afterwards, discharging 


his duties as a justice of the peace, following the circuits, holding a court 
as Lord of the Manor of Groton, admitted as a member of the Inner Tem- 
ple in London, preparing papers for parliamentary committees, and exer- 
cising the office of an attorney of the Court of Wards and Liveries, of 
which Sir Robert Naunton was then Master. Meantime he was once more 
married, in 1618, to Margaret, the daughter of Sir John Tyndal, knight, 

of Great Maplested, in the 

// r -/ r county of Essex, who was 

0,20 , 

happily destined to be 

*?"** to IT, as ". affe <- 

tionate and devoted wife 
for thirty years. Eleven 
or twelve of those years were passed in England ; and the idea of leaving 
their native land for a remote and unsettled region in another hemisphere 
was hardly in the dreams of either of them until the occasion presented 
itself. Winthrop was not one of the original Massachusetts Company. 
His name was not with those of Cradock and Saltonstall and Humfry and 
Isaac Johnson and Endicott in the Massachusetts Charter, signed in behalf 
of Charles I. on the 4th of March, 1628-29. Nor does he seem to have 
been associated with them as an adventurer in the joint stock of the Com- 
pany. But now that a great responsibility was to be incurred and a bold 
step taken, in transferring the Patent and the whole Government to New 
England, he appears to have been summoned at once to their counsels, 
and at the earliest practicable moment to have been invested with their 
Chief Magistracy. 

He said of himself, on a most solemn occasion, a few years after his 
arrival in New England : " I was first chosen to be Governor, without my 
seeking or expectation, there being then divers other gentlemen who, 
for their abilities every way, were far more fit." Those gentlemen, how- 
ever, were of a different opinion ; and he was obliged to confess, in his 
little memorandum of private and personal self-communings, that " it is 
come to that issue, as, in all probabilitye, the welfare of the Plantation 
depends upon my assistance: for the maine pillars of it, beinge gentlemen 
of high qualitye and eminent parts, bothe for wisdom and Godlinesse, are 
determined to sit still if I deserte them." 

But the considerations which induced Winthrop and the other signers 
of the Cambridge Agreement to come over to New England were of no 
mere private or personal character. They had relation to the condition of 
England at that day, its social, moral, religious, and political condition. 
Charles I. was just entering on that course of absolute government which 
brought him at last to the block. Forced loans and illegal taxes were 
imposed and extorted. Buckingham had just fallen beneath the stroke of 
an assassin ; but Strafford stood ready to replace him as the tool of despot- 
ism. Laud, already Bishop of London, and virtually Primate, was assert- 
ing the Divine right of Kings for his Master, and assuming the whole power 


of the Church for himself. Puritanism was his pet aversion. Parliament 
was dissolved, and the King's intention announced of ruling without one. 
Proclamations, Star Chamber and High Commission Courts, were to be the 
only instruments of government. The Marshalsea and the Gate-House 
were crowded with gentlemen who had refused to yield to arbitrary exac- 
tions. Free Speech was the special subject of proscription ; and the brave 
Sir John Eliot was doomed to linger out his few remaining years and die in 
the Tower. Winthrop gives a faint impression of all this in a letter to his 
wife, dated May 15, 1629, as follows: 

" It is a great favour, that we may enjoye so much comfort & peace in these so 
evill & declining tymes, & when the increasinge of our sinnes gives us so great cause 
to looke for some heavye scourge & Judgment to be coininge upon us : The Lorde 
hath admonished, threatened, corrected, & astonished us, yet we growe worse & worse, 
so as his Spirit will not allwayes strive with us, he must needs give waye to his furye at 
last : He hath smitten all the other Churches before our eyes, & hath made them to 
drinke of the bitter cuppe of tribulatid, even unto death. We sawe this, & humbled 
not ourselves, to turne from our evill wayes, but have provoked him more than all the 
nations rounde about us : therefore he is turninge the Cuppe towards us also, & be- 
cause we are the last, our portion must be, to drinke the verye dreggs which remaine : 
My dear wife, I am veryly persuaded, God will bringe some heavye Affliction upon 
this lande, & that speedylye : but be of good comfort, the hardest that can come shall 
be a meanes to mortifie this bodye of corruption, which is a thousand tymes more 
dangerous to us then any outward tribulation, & to bring us into nearer comunion 
with our Lord Jesus Christ, & more assurance of his kingdome. If the Lord seeth 
it wilbe good for us, he will provide a shelter & a hidinge place for us & others, as a 
Zoar for Lott, Sarephtah for his prophet, &c. : if not, yet he will not forsake us : though 
he correct us with the roddes of men, yet if he take not his mercye & lovinge kind- 
nesse from us we shalbe safe." 

In these words, " If the Lord seeth it will be good for us, he will provide 
a shelter and a hiding place for us and others," is found the first intimation 
of what followed. Winthrop was at that moment engaged in preparing a 
memorable paper, which has sometimes been ascribed to others, and which 
has been printed in more than one volume, with many variations and 
abbreviations, but of which the original draught has recently been found 
among his own manuscripts and in his own handwriting. 1 That original 
draught is indorsed "For N. E. May, 1629." It is sometimes referred 
to in history as " The Conclusions for New England," and sometimes as 
" General Considerations for the Plantation of New England." But its true 
title is, " Reasons to be considered for justifying the undertakers of the 
intended Plantation in New England, and for encouraging such whose 
hearts God shall move to join with them in it." The second of the Rea- 
sons is in terms almost identical with the letter just quoted : 

" 2. All other churches of Europe are brought to desolation, & o r sinnes, for w ch 
the Lord beginnes allreaddy to frowne upon us & to cutte us short, doe threatne evill 

1 [See Massachusetts Historical Society, Proceedings, July, 1865. ED.] 
VOL. I. 14. 


times to be comminge upon us, & whoe knowes, but that God hath provided this place 
to be a refuge for many vvhome he meanes to save out of the generall callamity, & see- 
inge the Church hath noe place lefte to flie into but the wildernesse, what better worke 
can there be, then to goe & provide tabernacles & foode for her against she comes 
thether : " 

" The Church hath no place left to fly into but the wilderness." This 
was the idea which had carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth ten years before, 
and which is now in part urging the Puritans to Massachusetts. But 
indeed, as we have seen, both Church and State were now in peril. Reli- 
gious and civil rights alike were trampled under foot at home ; and 
" a shelter and a hiding-place " could only be sought and secured 
beyond the seas. 

Meantime, however, the Puritans of Massachusetts had higher and 
larger views than merely securing a refuge for themselves. A great 
country was to be settled and civilized and Christianized. The very first 
clause of The Conclusions for New England, as prepared by Winthrop in 
May, 1629, sets forth that "it will be a service to the Church of great 
consequence to carry the Gospell into those partes of the World, to hclpe 
on the comminge of the fulnesse of the Gentiles; " and a later Consid- 
eration, in the same Paper, is as follows : 

" 3. It is the revealed will of God that the Gospell should be preached to all nations, 
& though we know not whether these Barbarians will receive it at first or noe, yet it 
is a good worke to serve Gods providence in offering it to them (& this is fittest to 
be doone by Gods owne servants.) for God shall have glory by it though they refuse 
it, & there is good hope that the Posterity shall by this meanes be gathered into 
Christs sheepefould." 

The spreading of the Gospel, and the conversion of the Heathen, were 
foremost in the contemplation of the New England Fathers. 

This Paper of Winthrop's was widely circulated at the time among the 
great Puritan leaders in England. It found its way to the noble Sir John 
Eliot, while imprisoned in the Tower, and a copy of it has recently been 
discovered among his papers at Port Eliot, in Cornwall. He seems to have 
held correspondence in regard to it with the famous John Hampden, and 
a letter of Hampden's to Sir John has been printed both in Nugent's 
Memorials of Hampden, and in Forster's Life of Eliot, requesting that 
" the Paper of Considerations Concerning the Plantation " might be sent 
to him, and promising to return it safely after it had been transcribed. 
Nothing could be more interesting or suggestive than this positive proof 
that the views of the Massachusetts Company were communicated to 
those great English Patriots, Eliot and Hampden, and were the subject 
of their consultation and correspondence. " Both of them," as Forster 
says, " in that evil day for religion and freedom, had sent their thoughts 
across the wide Atlantic towards the New World that had risen beyond 
its waters; and both had been eager in promoting those plans for emigra- 



tion which in the few succeeding years exerted so momentous an influence 
over the destiny of mankind. It was in this very year" (1629), he con- 
tinues, "that the Company of Massachusetts Bay was formed; and though 
the immediate design had scarcely at first extended beyond the provision 
of a refuge abroad for the victims of tyranny in Church and State at home, 
it soon became manifest that there had entered also into it a larger and 
grander scheme, that, with more security for liberty of person and freedom 
to worship God, had mingled the hope of planting in those distant regions 
a free Commonwealth and citizenship to balance and redress the old ; and 
that thus early such hopes had been interchanged respecting it between 
such men as Eliot and Hampden, Lord Brooke, Lord Warwick, and Lord 
Say and Sele," l 

Four or five months were now occupied in busy preparations for the 
great Emigration. Eleven or twelve ships were to be employed in carry- 
ing the Governor and Company across the Atlantic. Four of them were 
ready to sail together from Southampton on the 22d of March, and on that 
day Governor Winthrop and the Company embarked for New England, 
taking the Charter of Massachusetts with them. In the principal ship, 
with Winthrop, were Sir Richard Saltonstall ; Isaac Johnson with his wife, 
the Lady Arbella, a daughter of the Earl of Lincoln ; George Phillips, the 
Minister; Thomas Dudley, the Deputy Governor; William Coddington, 
afterwards Governor of Rhode Island ; and Simon Bradstreet, who was to 
survive them all, and to be known as " the Nestor of New England." Two 
of the Governor's young children were with him, but his wife was obliged 
to postpone her departure for another year. John Wilson, the first Minister 
of Boston, seems to have been in one of the other vessels, which had the 
names of the " Talbot," the " Ambrose," and the " Jewel." The ship which 
bore Winthrop and the Charter had long been known as the " Eagle," but 
was now called the "Arbella," in compliment to the Earl's daughter who was 
one of her passengers. Detained by unfavorable winds at Cowes, and again 
off Yarmouth, the voyage was not fairly commenced until the 8th of April. 

In the mean time, the delay had given opportunity for those of the 
Company on board the "Arbella" to address to those from whom they were 
parting their admirable Farewell Letter, entitled : " The Humble Request 
of his Majesty's Loyall Subjects, the Governor and the Company late gone 
for New England ; to the rest of their brethren in and ,of the Church of 
England ; for the obtaining of their Prayers, and the removal of suspicions, 
and misconstruction of their Intentions." 

This Letter belongs to the History of Massachusetts. Nothing more 
tender or more noble can be found in the annals of New England or of 
Old England. It furnishes the key-note of the whole enterprise, and illus- 
trates the spirit and character of those engaged in it. Not a word of it can 
be spared from any just account of the Puritan leaders of 1630. It is as 
follows : 

1 Forster, Life of Sir John Eliot, ii. p. 531. 


" REVEREND FATHERS AND BRETHREN, The general rumor of this solemn enter- 
prise, wherein ourselves with others, through the providence of the Almighty, are 
engaged, as it may spare us the labor of imparting our occasion unto you, so it gives 
us the more encouragement to strengthen ourselves by the procurement of the 
prayers and blessings of the Lord's faithful servants. For which end we are bold to 
have recourse unto you, as those whom God hath placed nearest his throne of mercy ; 
which as it affords you the more opportunity, so it imposeth the greater bond upon 
you to intercede for his people in all their straits. We beseech you, therefore, by the 
mercies of the Lord Jesus, to consider us as your brethren, standing in very great 
need of your help, and earnestly imploring it. And howsoever your charity may 
have met with some occasion of discouragement through the misreport of our inten- 
tions, or through the disaffection or indiscretion of some of us, or rather amongst us 
(for we are not of those that dream of perfection in this world), yet we desire you 
would be pleased to take notice of the principals and body of our Company, as those 
who esteem it our honor to call the Church of England, from whence we rise, our 
dear mother ; and cannot part from our native Country, where she specially resideth, 
without much sadness of heart and many tears in our eyes, ever acknowledging that 
such hope and part as we have obtained in the common salvation we have received 
in her bosom, and sucked it from her breasts. 

" We leave it not, therefore, as loathing that milk wherewith we were nourished 
there ; but, blessing God for the parentage and education, as members of the same 
body, shall always rejoice in her good, and unfeignedly grieve for any sorrow that 
shall ever betide her, and while we have breath, sincerely desire and endeavor the 
continuance and abundance of her welfare, with the enlargement of her bounds in the 
Kingdom of Christ Jesus. 

" Be pleased, therefore, reverend fathers and brethren, to help forward this work 
now in hand ; which if it prosper, you shall be the more glorious, howsoever your 
judgment is with the Lord, and your reward with your God. It is a usual and 
laudable exercise of your charity, to commend to the prayers of your congregations 
the necessities and straits of your private neighbors : do the like for a Church spring- 
ing out of your own bowels. We conceive much hope that this remembrance of us, 
if it be frequent and fervent, will be a most prosperous gale in our sails, and provide 
such a passage and welcome for us from the God of the whole earth, as both we 
which shall find it, and yourselves, with the rest of our friends, who shall hear of 
it, shall be much enlarged to bring in such daily returns of thanksgivings, as the 
specialties of his providence and goodness may justly challenge at all our hands. 
You are not ignorant that the spirit of God stirred up the Apostle Paul to make 
continual mention of the Church of Philippi, which was a Colony from Rome ; let 
the same spirit, we beseech you, put you in mind, that are the Lord's remembrancers, 
to pray for us without ceasing, who are a weak colony from yourselves, making con- 
tinual request for us to God in all your prayers. 

" What we entreat of you that are the ministers of God, that we also crave at the 
hands of all the rest of our brethren, that they would at no time forget us in their 
private solicitations at the throne of grace. 

" If any there be who, through want of clear intelligence of our course, or tenderness 
of affection towards us, cannot conceive so well of our way as we could desire, we would 
entreat such not to despise us, nor to desert us in their prayers and affections, but to 
consider rather that they are so much the more bound to express the bowels of their < 


compassion towards us, remembering always that both nature and grace doth ever 
bind us to relieve and rescue, with our utmost and speediest power, such as are dear 
unto us, when we conceive them to be running uncomfortable hazards. 

" What goodness, you shall extend to us in this or any other Christian kindness, 
we, your brethren in Christ Jesus, shall labor to repay in what duty we are or shall be 
able to perform, promising, so far as God shall enable us, to give him no rest on your 
behalfs, wishing our heads and hearts may be as fountains of tears for your everlasting 
welfare when we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilderness, overshadowed with 
the spirit of supplication, through the manifold necessities and tribulations which may 
not altogether unexpectedly, nor, we hope, unprofitably, befall us. And so com- 
mending you to the grace of God in Christ, we shall ever rest 

Your assured friends and brethren, 





&c. &c. 

" From YARMOUTH, aboard the ARBELLA, April 7, 1630." 

While they were still at " the Cowes," Governor Winthrop had written 
the first pages of a Diary or Journal, which, having been continued until 
within a few weeks of his death, has supplied the main materials of early 
Massachusetts History. He seems to have appreciated the full magnitude 
of the work on which he had entered ; to have realized that he was going out 
to lay the foundation of a great Commonwealth ; and to have felt that no 
incident connected with such an enterprise could be too trifling to be 
recorded. He looked forward to some day of leisure for revising what he 
had written, and making it more worthy of himself and of his subject. But 
no such leisure time was ever vouchsafed to him, and his daily record of 
events as they occurred, providentially preserved, and now known as 
Winthrop's History of New England, furnishes almost all which is known 
of the first nineteen years of Massachusetts. 

The voyage of the " Arbclla " and her consorts was a tedious one, and it 
was not until the seventy-sixth day that they came to anchor in the harbor 
of Salem. On the I2th of June, old style, or, as we should count it, the 
22d of June, 1630, Governor Winthrop, with the Massachusetts Company, 
and with the Charter, are fairly arrived on the shores of New England. 
The Chief Government of Massachusetts was now established on her own 
soil, and there was no longer to be any subordination to a Governor and 
Company in London. John Endicott, who had been a devoted and 
vigorous ruler of the little Plantation, of which he had been appointed 
Governor a year before, but whose jurisdiction was now merged in the 
General Government of the Massachusetts Colony, of which he had been 

1 Doubtless of the family of Fiennes, Lord Say and Sele, one of whose daughters married the 
young Earl of Lincoln, a brother of the Lady Arbella Johnson. 


elected one of the Assistants, seems to have come at once to welcome 
Winthrop, and to offer to him and the Company all the hospitalities in 
his power. The relations of Endicott and Winthrop were of the most 
cordial character as long as they both lived. The account of the arrival 
and landing of the Company is thus simply and pleasantly recorded by 
Governor Winthrop in his Journal : 

"Saturday, 12. About four in the morning we were near our port. We shot off 
two pieces of ordnance, and sent our skiff to Mr. Peirce his ship (which lay in the 

harbor, and had been there days before). About an hour after, Mr. Allerton 

came aboard us in a shallop as he was sailing to Pemaquid. As we stood towards 
the harbor, we saw another shallop coming to us ; so we stood in to meet her, and 
passed through the narrow strait between Baker's Isle and Little Isle, and came to an 
anchor a little within the islands. 

"Afterwards Mr. Peirce came aboard us, and returned to fetch Mr. Endecott, 
who came to us about two of the clock, and with him Mr. Skelton and Capt. 
Levett. We that were of the assistants, and some other gentlemen, and some of the 
women, and our captain, returned with them to Nahumkeck, where we supped with 
a good venison pasty and good beer, and at night we returned to our ship, but some 
of the women stayed behind. 

" In the mean time most of our people went on shore upon the land of Cape Ann, 
which lay very near us, and gathered store of fine strawberries." 

Among the most noteworthy incidents of the long voyage which had 
thus happily been brought to an end, was the Discourse written, and prob- 
ably delivered, by Governor Winthrop, and which came to light less than 
half a century ago, with the following title evidently prepared by some 
other hand than that of the author : 

" A Modell of Christian Charity, written on board the ' Arbella,' on the Atlantic 
Ocean, by the Hon. John Winthrop, Esq., in his passage (with a great company of 
Religious people, of which Christian tribes he was the Brave Leader and famous 
Governor ;) from the Island of Great Brittaine to New- England in the North America, 
Anno 1630." 

In this discourse, 1 after an elaborate discussion of Christian charity or 
love, the Governor proceeded to speak of the great work in which they 
had embarked, and of the means by which it was to be accomplished. 
The spirit of the whole is condensed in the following passage from the 
conclusion : 

" Thus stands the case between God and us. We are entered into a Covenant 
with Him for this work. We have taken out a commission. The Lord hath given 
us leave to draw our own articles. We have professed to enterprise these and those 
ends, upon these and those accounts. We have hereupon besought of Him favor 
and blessing. Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the 
place we desire, then hath he ratified this Covenant and sealed our Commission, and 
will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it ; but if we shall neglect 
1 [The original MS. is in the library of the N. Y. Historical Society. ED.] 


the observation of these articles which are the ends we have propounded, and, dis- 
sembling with our God, shall fall to embrace this present world and prosecute our 
carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves and our posterity, the Lord will 
surely break out in wrath against us ; be revenged of such a (sinful) people, and 
make us know the price of the breach of such a Covenant. 

" Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is 
to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our 
God. For this end we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must 
entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves 
of our superfluities, for the supply of other's necessities. We must uphold a familiar 
commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience, and liberality. We must 
delight in each other ; make other's condition our own ; rejoice together, mourn 
together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and 
community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of 
the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among 
us, as his own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways. So that we 
shall see much more of his wisdom, power, goodness, and truth than formerly we have 
been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of 
us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies ; when he shall make us a praise 
and a glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations, ' The Lord make it likely 
that of New England.' For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. 
The eyes of all people are upon us. Soe that if we shall deal falsely with our God in 
this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from 
us, we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open 
the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's 
sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their 
prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land 
whither we are a-going. 

" I shall shut up this discourse with that exhortation of Moses, that faithful servant 
of the Lord, in his last farewell to Israel (Deut. 30). Beloved, there is now set 
before us Life and good, Death and evil, in that we are commanded this day to love the 
Lord our God, and to love one another, to walk in his ways and to keep his Command- 
ments and his Ordinance and his Lawes, and the articles of our Covenant with him, 
that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the 
land whither we go to possess it. But if our hearts shall turn away, so that we will 
not obey, but shall be seduced, and worship and serve other Gods, our pleasure and 
profits, and serve them. ; it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out 
of the good land whither we pass over this vast sea to possess it; Therefore let us 
choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, 
for He is our life and our prosperity." 

When the Massachusetts Company arrived at Salem, with the Charter 
of the Colony, in June, 1630, the ever-honored Pilgrims of Plymouth had 
already, for nine years and a half, been in happy and quiet possession of a 
part of the territory now included within the State of Massachusetts. They 
were an independent colony, however, and continued such until the Pro- 
vincial Charter of Oct. 7, 1691. Coming over in a single ship, and count- 
ing only about a hundred souls, in all, at their landing from the " May 


Flower," their numbers had increased only threefold during this first decen- 
nial period ; and the population of Plymouth, when Winthrop arrived, is 
accordingly estimated as not exceeding three hundred, men, women, and 
children. The settlement at Salem, it seems, had reached about the same 
number. Higginson, in his New England's Plantation, gives the number of 
persons in the colony, previous to his own arrival in 1629, as only about 
one hundred. But he brought two hundred persons with him, and he was 
thus able to say, in September of that year: "There are in all of us, both 
old and new planters, about three hundred ; whereof two hundred of them 
are settled at Nehum-kek, now called Salem, and the rest have planted 
themselves at Massathulets Bay, beginning to build a town there, which 
we do call Cherton or Charlestown." Roger Conant had presided over the 
Naumkeag plantation for two years, and had been succeeded or superseded 
by Endicott in 1628. Endicott had been sent over, at first, in the ship 
" Abigail," as the agent of the Massachusetts Company and the leader of a 
small band, under the patent obtained from the Plymouth Council, March 
19, 1628. In the following year, after the royal charter had been obtained, 
March 4, 1629, a commission was sent out to him, dated April 30 of the 
same year, as " Governor of London's Plantation in the Mattachusetts Bay 
in New England." In the exercise of this commission he was subordinate 
to " the Governor and Company" in London, by whom he was deputed, 
and who, from time to time, sent him elaborate instructions for the regu- 
lation of his conduct. Massachusetts, as we have seen, was a very little 
colony at this time, still in embryo ; but it seems to have taken two 
governors to rule her ! Cradock and Endicott were governors simultane- 
ously from April 30, 1629, or, more correctly, from the time when Endi- 
cott's commission as governor reached Salem, two or three months later, 
until the 2Oth (3Oth) of October of the same year; and Winthrop and 
Endicott were simultaneously governors from that date until the arrival 
of the " Arbella " at Salem. There was thus a chief governor in London, and 
a subordinate or local governor in the Plantation. The Instructions to 
Endicott, dated April 17, and May 28, 1629, are among the most valuable 
of our early colonial papers, as showing precisely the relation which 
existed between the Plantation at Naumkeag and the Governor and Com- 
pany in England. 

But all this double-action machinery had now been abolished. The 
chief government had been transferred, agreeably to the Cambridge 
Agreement, and the local government was, of course, absorbed in it. 
Winthrop came over at once as the Governor of the Company, and to 
exercise a direct and personal magistracy over the colony. Not less than 
a thousand persons were added to the colony about the period of his 
arrival. Seven or eight hundred of these came with him, or speedily 
followed as a part of his immediate expedition. Two or three hundred 
more arrived almost at the same time, though not in vessels included in 
the Company's fleet. A second thousand was soon afterwards added under 


the same influence and example. A precarious Plantation was thus trans- 
formed at once into a permanent and prosperous Commonwealth ; and 
henceforth, instead of two or three hundred pioneer planters, thinly scat- 
tered along the coast, looking to a governor and company across the 
ocean for their supreme authority and instructions, two or three thousand 
people are to be seen, with a governor and legislature upon their own soil 
and of their own selection, erecting houses, building ships, organizing 
villages and towns, establishing churches, schools, and even a college, and 
laying broad and deep the foundations of an independent Republic. Such 
was the result of that transfer of the chief government which Matthew 
Cradock, the first Governor of the Massachusetts Company in Old England, 
proposed on the 28th of July, 1629, and which John Winthrop, the first 
Governor of the Company in New England, was the instrument of carrying 
out to its completion on the I2th (22d) day of June, 1630. On that day 
the transfer was consummated, and the consequences soon began to 
develop themselves. 

But there was much to contend against at the outset. Thomas Dudley; 
who had come over as Deputy-Governor to Winthrop, in the place of John 
Humfrey who had declined the service, in a letter to the Countess of 
Lincoln, the mother of the Lady Arbella Johnson, dated March 28, 1631, 
writes of the condition of things as follows : 

" We found the Colony in a sad and unexpected condition, above eighty of them 
being dead the winter before, and many of those alive weak and sick ; all the corn 
and bread amongst them all hardly sufficient to feed them a fortnight, insomuch that 
the remainder of a hundred and eighty servants we had the two years before sent 
over, coming to us for victuals to sustain them, we found ourselves wholly unable to 
feed them, by reason that the provisions shipped for them were taken out of the ship 
they were put in ; and they who were trusted to ship them in another failed us, and 
left them behind : whereupon necessity enforced us, to our extreme loss, to give 
them all liberty, who had cost us about \(> or ^20 a person, furnishing and sending 

It would thus appear that of the residents under Endicott, one hundred 
and eighty had been the bond-servants of the planters who were to follow, 
and that one of the first acts of Winthrop's administration was to emanci- 
pate all who had survived the winter; not from any abstract considerations 
of philanthropy, but from absolute inability to provide for their main- 
tenance. The little Colony was clearly in a weak and almost starving 
condition when the " Arbella " arrived, and it is by no means surprising 
that Dudley speaks of the " too large commendations of the country," and 
adds, " Salem, where we landed, pleased us not." Five days only after 
their arrival we find Governor Winthrop recording in his Diary: "Thurs- 
day, 17 (June). We went to Mattachusetts to find out a place for our 
sitting down." This journey of exploration, made on foot, resulted in the 
immediate removal of the Governor and Company to what is now called 

VOL. i. 15. 


' Charlestown. "A great House" had been built here the year before, and 
in this " the Governor and several of the patentees dwelt," as we learn from 
the old records of the town, while " the multitude set up cottages, booths, 
and tents about the Town Hill." 

Here, in Charlestown, on the 3Oth of July, six weeks after their landing at 
Salem, after appropriate religious exercises, Governor Winthrop, Deputy- 
Governor Dudley, Isaac Johnson, and John Wilson, adopted and signed 
the following simple but solemn church covenant: 

" In the name, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and in obedience to his holy will, and 
divine ordinances : 

" We, whose names are here underwritten, being by his most wise and good 
providence brought together into this part of America, in the Bay of Massachusetts ; 
and desirous to unite into one congregation or church, under the Lord Jesus Christ, 
our head, in such sort as becometh all those whom he hath redeemed, and sanctified 
to himself, do hereby solemnly and religiously, as in his most holy presence, promise 
and bind ourselves to walk in all our ways according to the rule of the Gospel, and in 
all sincere conformity to his holy ordinances, and in mutual love and respect to each 
other, so near as God shall give us grace." 


The Church thus formed is now known as the First Church of Boston, 
on one of the painted windows of whose new and beautiful house of worship 
this covenant is inscribed ; while among its ancient communion plate may 
still be seen an embossed silver cup, with " The gift of Governor Jn. Win- 
throp to y e . i' Church " engraved on its rim. 2 

And here, at Charlestown, on the 23d of August, 1630, was held the 
earliest " Court of Assistants " on this side of the Atlantic, at which the 

1 [This group does not represent the actual 
signatures of this document, but reproduces 
other autographs of the signers. Wilson was 
at this time forty-two years old, and had grad- 
uated at King's College, Cambridge. He was 
ordained at Charlestown, August 27, and again 
in Boston in November. He returned to Eng- 
land for his wife the next year, and was a third 
time installed in November, 1632. ED.] 

2 [The heliotype herewith given of this cup 

was made by the kind permission of the present 
pastor, and shows it on a reduced scale. It 
measures eleven and three-fourth inches high, 
of which the bowl makes five inches, and the 
diameter at the top is four and three-quarters 
inches, and at its base four inches. The Church 
Records have the following account of it : 
"A tall embossed cup, with engraving and 
figures in relief. Weight, 16 oz., i dwt. No 
date." ED.] 


*' -W 

'. '--: 


- i 






very first matter propounded was, " How the Ministers should be main- 
tained," when it was ordered, that houses should be built for them with 
convenient speed, at the public charge. Everything so far seemed thus 
to indicate that Charlestown was to be the capital of the colony, and, 
accordingly, the town records tell us that the Governor " ordered his house 
to be cut and framed there." There is reason, however, for thinking that 
the " Great House " was still the Governor's abode on the 25th of October, 


when he entered in his Diary the following record of what was unques- 
tionably the original temperance movement in Massachusetts, if not in 

" The Governour, upon consideration of the inconveniences which had grown in 
England by drinking one to another, restrained it at his own table, and wished others 
to do the like, so as it grew, by little and little, into disuse." 

Meantime discouragements and afflictions were falling heavily upon the 
Colony. Sickness and death had begun their ravages. The following 
entry in Winthrop's Journal, under date of September 30, tells its own sad 
story in language which could not be improved : " About two in the 

1 [This cut is a reduction, by permission, from 
an oil-painting recently completed by Mr. Wil- 
liam F. Halsall, representing a part of the fleet 
which brought Winthrop and his company to 
Salem just as they had come round to Boston 
Harbor, and were dropping anchor. The ves- 
sels are a careful study of the ships of the 
period. The "Arliella," the admiral of the 
fleet, a ship of three hundred and fifty tons, 

carrying twenty-eight guns and fifty-two men, 
is in the foreground, l>eing towed to her anchor- 
age. The "Talbot," the vice-admiral, riding at 
anchor, hides Governor's Island from the spec- 
tator. The "Jewell," the captain of the fleet, is 
the distant vessel on the right, where Castle 
Island appears. The time is late in a July day. 
The spectator's position is between Boston and 
East Boston. ED.] 


morning Mr. Isaac Johnson died ; his wife, the Lady Arbella, of the house oi 
Lincoln, being dead about one month before. He was a holy man and wise, 
and died in sweet peace, leaving some part of his substance to the Colony." 
About the same time, also, died " good Mr. Higginson," the zealous and 
devoted minister of Salem; Dr. William Gager, the chosen physician of 
the Company, and one of the deacons of the little church ; and others 
of both sexes, more or less conspicuous among the colonists. The loss of 
associates and friends, however, was not the only trial to which the com- 
pany were subjected at this early period. Provisions had again been 
growing scarce, and the springs at Charlestown seemed beginning to fail. 
Edward Johnson, an eye-witness, speaks of this precise period in his 
Wonder-working Providence, as follows : 

" The griefe of this people was further increased by the sore sicknesse which befell 
among them, so that almost in every family, lamentation, mourning, and woe was 
heard, and no fresh food to be had to cherish them. It would assuredly have moved 
the most lockt-up affections to teares, no doubt, had they past from one hut to 
another, and beheld the piteous case these people were in. And that which added 
to their present distresse was the want of fresh water ; for although the place did 
afford plenty, yet for present they could finde but one spring, and that not to be come 
at but when the tide was downe." 

This want of water it was which finally determined Governor Winthrop 
and others to abandon their present location, to quit Charlestown, and to 
establish themselves on the neighboring peninsula. Of this step, the 
following brief but ample account is found in the early records of Charles- 
town : 

" In the meantime, Mr. Blackstone, dwelling on the other side Charles River 
alone, at a place by the Indians called Shawmutt, where he only had a cottage, at or 
not far off the place called Blackstone's Point, he came and acquainted the Governor 
of an excellent Spring there ; withal inviting him and soliciting him thither. Where- 
upon, after the death of Mr. Johnson and divers others, the Governor, with Mr. 
Wilson, and the greatest part of the church removed thither : whither also the frame 
of the Governor's house, in preparation at this town, was also (to the discontent of 
some) carried ; where people began to build their houses against winter ; and this 
place was called BOSTON." 

William Blackstone had until now been the only known white inhab- 
itant of Sliawmnt, as the peninsula was called by the Indians, and will 
always be remembered as the pioneer settler of the peninsula. 1 

The order of the Court of Assistants, Governor Winthrop presiding, 


7th of September, old style, or, as we now count it, the i/th of September, 

i63O. 2 The name of Boston was specially dear to the Massachusetts colonists 

1 [The story of Blackstone's residence is told 2 [By favor of the Hon. Henry B. Peirce, 
at length in Mr. C. F. Adams, Jr.'s section of Secretary of the Commonwealth, a heliotype of 
the present volume. ED.] this famous order is herewith given. ED.] 




V 1 - . 




from its associations with the old St. Botolph's town, or Boston, of Lincoln- 
shire, England, from which the Lady Arbella Johnson and her husband had 
come, and where John Cotton was still preaching in its noble parish church. 
But the precise date of the removal of the Governor and Company to the 
peninsula is nowhere given. 

The Court of Assistants continued to hold its meetings at Charlestown 
until the end of September; but on the I9th (29th) of October we find a 
General Court holden at Boston, and on the 29th of November we find 
Winthrop for the first time dating a letter to his wife in England, " Boston 
in Mattachusetts," in which he says : " My dear wife, we are here in a 
paradise. Though we have not beef and mutton, etc., yet (God be 
praised) we want them not; our Indian corn answers for all. Yet here is 
fowl and fish in great plenty." In a previous letter he had said to her : 
"We here enjoy God and Jesus Christ. Is not this enough? What would 
we have more? " 


Boston, however, was not destined to be " a paradise " quite yet, to any 
one except its hopeful and brave-hearted founder. The Winter, then just 
opening, was to be one of great severity and continued suffering. The 
Charlestown records tell us that " people were necessitated to live on clams 
and muscles, and ground-nuts and acorns." The Governor himself " had 
the last batch of bread in the oven," and was seen giving "the last handful 


of meal in the barrell unto a poor man distressed by the wolf at the door." 
A ship had been sent to England for provisions six months before, but 
nothing had been heard of her. A day had been appointed for a general 
humiliation, " to seek the Lord by fasting and prayer." And now, at the 
last moment, in the very hour of their despair, the ship is descried 
entering Boston Harbor, and " laden with provisions for them all." The 
Governor's Journal, accordingly, has the following entry: " 22 (February). 
We held a day of Thanksgiving for this ship's arrival, by order from the 
Governour and Council, directed to all the Plantations." This must have 
been the first regularly appointed Thanksgiving Day in Massachusetts. 

A second Thanksgiving Day was observed in Boston on the iith day 
of November following, on occasion of the next return from England of 
the same ship, the "Lion," bringing Governor Winthrop's wife, Margaret 
(Tyndal), with his eldest son, John, the future Governor of Connecticut, 
accompanied by the Rev. John Eliot, soon to be known, and never to be 
forgotten, as the Apostle to the Indians, and the translator of the Bible 
into the Indian language. Massachusctts's Thanksgiving Days seem thus 
to have originated in the public acknowledgment of some immediate 
special causes of gratitude to God, and not as mere formal anniversary 

On the 1 8th of May, 1631, the second General Court was holden at 
Boston, when Winthrop was re-elected Governor, and Dudley Deputy- 
Governor, and when a memorable order was unanimously passed by the 
people assembled on the occasion, an order which was to furnish the 
subject of no little controversy and contention a few years later. It was 
recorded as follows: "And to the end (that) the body of the commons 
may be preserved of honest and good men, it was ordered and agreed that 
for time to come no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body 
politic, but such as are members of some of the Churches within the limits 
of the same." Winthrop, in his Journal, adds to this record that " all the 
freemen of the Commons were sworn to this government." 

Among the few incidents of this year which have any historical or local 
interest, as showing the progress of the Plantation and the condition of 
things in Boston, it must not be omitted that on the 4th day of July, "the 
Governor built a bark at Mistick, which was launched this day, and called 
' The Blessing of the Bay.' " Nor must the record be passed over, that, on 
the 25th of October, " the Governour, with Captain Underbill and others 
of the officers, went on foot to Sagus, and next day to Salem, where they 
were bountifully entertained by Captain Endecott, etc., and, the 28th, they 
returned to Boston by the ford at Sagus River, and so over at Mistick." 
The occupation of three whole days in a visit from Boston to Salem, by 
fords and on foot, gives an impressive picture of the locomotion of that 
early period of the colony. 

The Records of the third " General Court," holden at Boston, on the 
9th of May, 1632, open as follows: - 


" It was generally agreed upon, by erection of hands, that the Governor, Deputy- 
Governor, and Assistants should be chosen by the whole Court of Governor, Deputy- 
Governor, Assistants, and freemen, and that the Governor shall always be chosen out 
of the Assistants. 

"John Winthrop, Esq., was chosen to the place of Governor (by the general 
consent of the whole Court, manifested by erection of hands), for this year next 
ensuing, and till a new be chosen, and did, in presence of the Court, take an oath to 
his said place belonging." 

At the same session of the Court it was ordered, " that there should be 
two of every plantation appointed to confer with the Court about raising 
of a public stock." Accordingly, two persons were appointed from Water- 
town, Roxbury, Boston, Saugus, Newtown, Charlestown, Salem, and Dor- 

The recognition of the " freemen " of the colony in the first clause of 
this Record, and the designation in the last clause of representatives of the 
several plantations to confer about taxes, indicate the gradual advance 
of the little colony towards popular institutions ; while the naming of the 
plantations shows that there were now eight separate communities in 
Massachusetts claiming consideration as towns. Of these towns Boston 
was named in the Records, intentionally or accidentally, third ; l but at a 
Court of Assistants, in the following October, the Record runs : " It is 
thought, by general consent, that Boston is the fittest place for public 
meetings of any place in the Bay." 

Perhaps the most memorable incident of this year was the official visit 
of the authorities of Massachusetts, civil, military, and ecclesiastical, to the 
Pilgrims at Plymouth. Winthrop's description of it, in his Journal, gives a 
vivid idea of the condition of both colonies, and of their cordial relations 
towards each other. We should not be forgiven for omitting a word 
of it:- 

" 25 (September) The governour, with Mr. Wilson, pastor of Boston, and the 
two captains, etc., went aboard the ' Lyon,' and from thence Mr. Pierce carried them 
in his shallop to Wessaguscus. The next morning Mr. Pierce returned to his ship, 
and the governour and his company went on foot to Plimouth, and came thither 
within the evening. The governour of Plimouth, Mr. William Bradford (a very 
discreet and grave man), with Mr. Brewster, the elder, and some others, came forth 
and met them without the town, and conducted them to the governour's house, where 
they were very kindly entertained, and feasted every day at several houses. On the 
Lord's Day there was a sacrament, which they did partake in ; and in the afternoon 
Mr. Roger Williams (according to their custom) propounded a question, to which 
the pastor, Mr. Smith, spake briefly ; then Mr. Williams prophesied ; and after the 

1 [Boston seems to have had no special build- out by Francis Jackson of late years, is in th<J 
ing for public worship until, during the year library of the N. E. Hist, and Genealogical 
1632, was erected the small thatched-roof, one- Society. See the Register, April, 1860, p. 152. 
story building which stood on State Street, where Wilson, the pastor, lived where the Merchants' 
Brazer's Building now stands. A plan of the Bank is, and Wilson's Lane until recently trans- 
church lot as existing at this time, but as made mitted his name to us. ED.] 


governour of Plimouth spake to the question ; after him the elder ; then some two 
or three more of the congregation. Then the elder desired the governour of Massa- 
chusetts and Mr. Wilson to speak to it, which they did. When this was ended, the 
deacon, Mr. Fuller, put the congregation in mind of their duty of contribution ; 
whereupon the governour and all the rest went down to the deacon's seat, and put 
into the box, and then returned." 

What a grand group of New England worthies is presented to us here ! 
Governor Bradford and Elder Brewster, Roger Williams, John Wilson, and 
Governor Winthrop, all gathered at Plymouth Rock ; all partaking together 
of the Holy Communion ; engaging in religious discussion, and joining in a 
contribution for the wants of the poor! What a subject it suggests for 
American art ! But, alas ! authentic likenesses of all except Winthrop 
would be wanting for such a picture. 1 The most cordial relations existed 
between Massachusetts and her elder sister Colony at Plymouth. Bradford 
and Winthrop exchanged letters often, and visits more than once. The 
two Colonies were one in spirit, as they were one in destiny; and the 
repeated interchanges of friendly offices, at that early day, were a pleasant 
prelude to their becoming members incorporate, a little more than half a 
century later, of the same noble Commonwealth. 

But all was not harmony for the Massachusetts Colony within her own 
limits. A controversy sprung up early between Governor Winthrop and 
Deputy-Governor Dudley, about many personal and many public matters, 
which involved serious discomfort both to themselves and their friends. 
This controversy has sometimes been absurdly exaggerated and caricatured 
by descriptions and by pictures. It is only worth alluding to, in these 
pages, as an evidence that it has not been overlooked, and as furnishing an 
opportunity to introduce the following brief account of the conclusion of 
the whole matter, a few years afterwards, as contained in Winthrop's 
Journal under date of April 24, 1638: 

" The governour and deputy went to Concord to view some land for farms, and, 
going down the river about four miles, they made choice of a place for one thousand 
acres for each of them. They offered each other the first choice, but because the 
deputy's was first granted, and himself had store of land already, the governour 
yielded him the choice. So, at the place where the deputy's land was to begin, there 
were two great stones, which they called the Two Brothers, in remembrance that they 
were brothers by their children's marriage, and did so brotherly agree, and for that a 
little creek near those stones was to part their lands." 

The " two great stones," which were the witnesses to this charming scene 
of reconciliation, are standing to this day, and are still known as the " Two 
Brothers." Few more delightful incidents are to be found in history than 
Winthrop's returning an insulting letter from Dudley with the simple 

1 [What was once considered a portrait of woodcut of it. Dr. Appleton, in the Mass. Hist. 
Wilson hangs in the Gallery of the Historical Soc. Proc., September, 1867, showed the error of 
Society. Drake, Hist, of Boston, gives a poor considering it a likeness of Wilson. ED.] 


remark, " I am not willing to keep such an occasion of provocation by 
me." Nor could a better companion-piece easily be found than the reply 
of Dudley, when Winthrop offered him a token of his good-will: "Your 
overcoming yourself hath overcome me." But there were other contro- 
versies, meantime, of a more public concern, and between other parties, 
which were less happily and less speedily settled. 

Winthrop was again chosen Governor for the fourth time, and Dudley 
Deputy-Governor, at the General Court held in Boston May 29, 1633. 
In the following October it was ordered that there shall be four hundred 
pounds collected out of the several plantations to defray public charges, 
and eleven plantations are set down in the Records to be assessed accord- 
ingly, Winnesimmet, Medford, and Agawam or Ipswich, having been 
added to the eight which have been previously recognized. Boston is now 
named at the head of the list, and is one of the five towns assessed at forty- 
eight pounds. Dorchester is named sixth, but with an assessment of eighty 
pounds. These sums may give some idea of the expenses of the colony 
and of the relative wealth of the plantations. 

But the great event of this year 1633, for Boston and for the whole 
colony, was the arrival of the Rev. John Cotton ; accompanied, too, by the 
Rev. Thomas Hooker and John Haynes, soon to be Governor of Massa- 
chusetts, and, not long afterwards, of Connecticut. The arrival of these im- 
portant characters is thus chronicled by Winthrop in his Journal : 

" SEPT. 4. The ' Griffin,' a ship of three hundred tons, arrived (having been 
eight weeks from the Downs). . . In this ship came Mr. Cotton, Mr. Hooker, and 
Mr. Stone, ministers, and Mr. Peirce, Mr. Haynes (a gentleman of great estate), Mr. 
Hoffe, and many other men of good estates. They got out of England with much 
difficulty, all places being belaid to have taken Mr. Cotton and Mr. Hooker, who had 
been long sought for to have been brought into the High Commission ; but the master 
being bound to touch at the Wight, the pursuivants attended there, and, in the mean- 
time, the said ministers were taken in at the Downs. Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone went 
presently to Newtown, where they were to be entertained, and Mr. Cotton stayed at 

This was the year in which the poems of George Herbert were published, 
and there is some reason for the conjecture that the proposed emigration 
of Cotton and other eminent English ministers suggested those well-known 
lines of his, 

" Religion stands a tiptoe in our land, 
Ready to pass to the American strand." 1 

This was the year, too, when an Order was issued by the Privy Council 
to stay several ships in the Thames, in which some distinguished opponents 
of the Crown were supposed to be embarked for New England, as, later, 
there has been a tradition that even Hampden, Pym, and Cromwell medi- 
tated such a flight. 

1 Muss, fit st. Soc. Proc., January, 1867. 
VOL. I. 1 6. 


Coming from Boston in Old England, where he had ministered for more 
than twenty years in the Church of St. Botolph, whose lofty tower is still 
the pride of all the regions round about, the great Puritan preacher did not 
fail to receive the most cordial welcome in the little transatlantic town, which 
has often been said to have been named out of respect to his character, and 
in hopeful anticipation of his soon becoming one of its inhabitants. 

His welcome was all the more fervent from his having so narrowly 
escaped the pursuivants and the High Commission Court. He seems, 
however, to have brought over with him from England some views in regard 
to civil government which were by no means palatable in Massachusetts. 
He took occasion to express and enforce these views in the Election Ser- 
mon which he delivered before the General Court in the following May 
(1634), when he maintained "that a magistrate ought not to be turned 
into the condition of a private man without just cause," any more than 
the magistrates may turn a private man out of his freehold. The subject 
was thereupon discussed in the Court, and the opinion of the other min- 
isters asked. Winthrop paid the penalty of the decision. The immediate 
practical answer was that the General Court elected a new Governor, and 
a wholesome rebuke was thus given to the suggestion of a vested right on 
the part of any incumbent in the political office which he may happen to 
hold. Thomas Dudley l was now elected Governor of Massachusetts, and 
Roger Ludlow Deputy-Governor ; while Winthrop was chosen at the head 
of the Board of Assistants. 

Meantime, we have the record of a great advance in the political con- 
dition of the little Colony, nothing less than the establishment of a Repre- 
sentative System in New England. It was ordered, " That four General 
Courts should be kept every year; that the whole body of the freemen 
should be present only at the Court of Election of Magistrates, and that, at 
the other three, every town should send their deputies, who should assist 
in making laws, disposing lands, &c." Town governments were thus 
already in existence, and in this year are found the earliest remaining 
records of the town of Boston, written by Winthrop himself, and dated 
" 1634, moneth 7*, Daye I." 2 Relieved from the cares of the chief magis- 

1 [Dudley lived where the Universalist Durrie's Index to American Genealogies. The 
Church in Roxbury stands, at the end of Shaw- full text of the life of Thomas Dudley, which 
mut Avenue. His well is said still to exist was abridged by Cotton Mather when he print- 
under the building. Here he entertained Mian- ed his Magnolia, is given in the Mass. Jfist. 
tonomoh in 1640. He died July 31, 1654. Drake, Soc. Proc., January, 1870, with notes and col- 
Tmon of Roxbury, pp. 334, 340 ; Ellis, Roxbury lations with the text of the same given in 
Town, p. 97. The family line is traced in N. E. George Adlard's Sutton-Dndleys of England. 
Hist, and Geneal. Reg. \\\\. and ix., supplementing Cf. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., April, 1858. The 
Dean Dudley '* Dudley Genealogies, Boston, 1848. N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Keg., October, 1856, 
There is a tabular pedigree in Drake's Boston, p. 342, has a paper on the portraits of the 
folio edition. Cf. Bridgman, Pilgrims of Boston ; Dudleys. ED.] 

Heraldic Journal, i. 35, 185; Herald and Gene- ' 2 [This first page of the Town Records is 

alogist, part xvi. p. 308; Savage, Dictionary ; ]. given herewith in heliotypc. Engravings of it 

B. Moore, Governors of Ne~,t> Plymouth and have appeared in Shaw's Description of Boston, 

Mass. Bay, p. 273; and further references in and in Drake's Boston, p. 172. ED.] 

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tracy of the colony, he was able to give more attention to town affairs, and 
in the following December we find him at the head of seven selectmen of 
Boston, commissioned " to divide and dispose of all such lands belonging 
to the town (as are not yet in the lawful possession of any particular per- 
son) to the inhabitants of the town, leaving such portions in common for 
new comers, and the further benefitte of the town, as in their best discretion 
they shall think fitt." It was in the exercise of this commission that Win- 
throp was mainly instrumental in reserving from the distribution of the 
town lands the forty or fifty acres now known as BOSTON COMMON, and 
which constitute so much of the beauty and pride of the city. 1 

Another memorable incident belongs to the history of Boston about this 
time, of which the town records contain the following account: "Like- 
wise it was then gen'ally agreed upon, y- o r . brother Philemon Pormont 
shalbe entreated to become schoolmaster for the teaching and nourtering 
of children w* us." This is one of the very earliest references to that cause 
of education, and those free schools, which Boston has gloried to advance 
from that day to this; and the town records of another year (1636) 
contain a list of the subscriptions of all the principal inhabitants of 
the town, from four shillings up to ten pounds each, " towards the main- 
tenance of free-schoolmaster for Mr. Daniel Maude being now also chosen 
thereunto." 2 

The spirit of legislation, as well as the habits of the people, at this period 
may be illustrated by such an order of the General Court as the following: 
" The Court, taking into consideration the great, superfluous, and unneces- 
sary expenses occasioned by reason of some new and immodest fashions, as 
also the ordinary wearing of silver, gold, and silk laces, girdles, hatbands, 
&c., hath therefore ordered that no person, either man or woman, shall 
hereafter make or buy any apparel, either woollen, silk, or linen, with any 
lace on it, silver, gold, silk, or thread, under the penalty of forfeiture of 
such clothes." 

And here is another sample : " It is ordered that no person shall take 
tobacco publicly, under the penalty of 2 shillings and sixpence, nor privately 
in his own house, or in the house of another, before strangers, and that two 
or more shall not take it together anywhere, under the aforesaid penalty, 
for every offence." 

One more order will suffice to throw light on the domestic condition of 
Boston : " There is leave granted to the Deputy-Governor, John Winthrop, 
Esq., and John Winthrop, Junior, each of them to entertain an Indian 
a-piece as a household servant." In this year Boston had reached the 
highest rate of assessment for public uses, being taxed 80, with Dor- 
chester and Newtown, out of the .600 ordered to be " levied out of the 
several plantations," which were now twelve in number. 

1 Palfrey, Hist, of N. E. i. 379. Second Report of the Record Commissioners,^. 160. 

2 [See further on this point in Mr. Scudder's The history of education is specially treated by 
chapter. The list in question is printed in the Dr. Dillaway in Vol. IV. ED.J 


At the election of May, 1635, Thomas Dudley, after a single year of 
service, was left out of the chief magistracy of Massachusetts, and John 
Haynes was chosen Governor in his place. And now we come to the 

arrival in Boston of two 

Cmost notable persons, who 
are to play no small part 
^ / in the history of the colony 

^S for the next few years, and 

who, alas ! were doomed to 
a common and sad end at a later day in England, Hugh Peters (or 
Peter, as he always signed his name), and Henry Vane. Peters had been 
the pastor of the English Church in Rotterdam, and had been persecuted 
. - by the English Ambassador, who desired to bring his 

JrJ ** ulf*t church under the English discipline. He had long before 
' taken an interest in the colonization of New England, was 

one of the first members of the Massachusetts Company, and one of the 
signers of the Company's Instructions to Endicott in 1629. Vane was 
son and heir to Sir Henry Vane, Comptroller of the King's household, 
and had already, though not yet twenty-five years old, been employed 
by his father, while an ambassador, in foreign affairs. These gentlemen 
exhibited the most active concern for the condition of the colony, both 
ecclesiastical and civil, at the earliest possible moment. Vane was ad- 
mitted a member of the Church of Boston within a month after his 
arrival, and, before three months had expired, he and Peters had pro- 
cured a meeting in Boston of all the leading magistrates and ministers 
of the colony, with a view to healing some distractions in the Com- 
monwealth and effecting " a more firm and friendly uniting of minds." 
At this meeting Vane and Peters, with Governor Haynes and the 
ministers, Cotton, Wilson, and Hooker, declared themselves in favor of 
a more rigorous administration of government than had thus far been 
pursued. Winthrop was charged with having displayed " overmuch 
lenity." The ministers delivered a formal opinion, " that strict disci- 
pline, both in criminal offences and in martial affairs, was more needful 
in plantations than in settled States, as tending to the honor and safety 
of the Gospel." Within seven days after this decision Governor Haynes 
and the Assistants, being informed that Roger Williams, who in the previous 
October had been sentenced by the General Court of Massachusetts to 
depart out of their jurisdiction in six weeks, and to whom liberty had been 
granted " to stay till spring," was using this liberty for preaching and prop- 
agating the doctrines for which he had been censured, despatched Captain 
Underhill to apprehend him, with a view to his being shipped off at once 
to England. But Williams escaped to Narragansett Bay, and became the 
founder of Rhode Island. He said of this escape, in a letter long after- 
wards: " It pleased the Most High to direct my steps into this Bay, by the 
loving private advice of the ever honored soul, Mr. John Winthrop." But 


the controversies about Roger Williams belong to a different chapter of this 
work and to another writer, 1 and they are passed over here accordingly. 

On the 7th of April, 1636, it was ordered by the General Court " that 
a certain number of magistrates should be chosen for life." This council 
for life was undoubtedly the work of John Cotton, and was designed to 
encourage the coming over to New England of some of those noblemen of 
old England to whom life-tenures were dear, and who shrunk from trusting 

their distinction to popular favor. It was entirely in keeping, also, with 
Cotton's Election Sermon in 1634, and it is expressly provided for in the 
draft of the " Model of Moses his Judicials," which Cotton presented to 
the General Court in October of this year. At the election in May, accord- 
ingly > John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley were chosen councillors for life. 
But the young Henry Vane was at the same time elected Governor of Mas- 
sachusetts, a signal proof of the influence and importance he had so 

1 [Dr. Ellis's chapter on "The Puritan Commonwealth." El).] 


rapidly acquired in the colony. 1 Winthrop who accepted the Deputy 
Governorship under him says of him in his Journal on this occasion: 
" Because he was son and heir to a Privy Councillor in England, the ships 
congratulated his election with a volley of great shot." But Vane had 
ability and enterprise enough to have secured an ultimate success and 
celebrity, as well as salutes of " great shot," without the aid of any mere 
family prestige. His administration, however, was destined to be disturbed 
by a violence of religious and civil controversy which has never been ex- 
ceeded on the same soil, if, indeed, on any soil beneath the sun. But the 
story of Mrs. Hutchinson and of the Antinomian Controversy belongs to 
another writer, 2 and is gladly left to him. At the General Court in March, 
1636-37, contentions ran so high that, although it had been so recently 
declared that " Boston is the fittest place for publique meetings of any 
place in the Bay," it was determined that the Court of Elections should not 
be held there. It was thereupon held in Newtown, soon to be Cambridge, 
where, after scenes of great controversy and even tumult, Winthrop was 
again chosen Governor and Dudley Deputy-Governor, while Vane, after a 
single year's service, was not even included among the Assistants. It was 
during this election that the first Stump Speech was made in this part of 
the world, and made by a clergyman, no less a person than the Rev. John 
Wilson, one of the ministers of the first Boston Church ; having " got up 
on the bough of a tree," and having made a speech which was said to 
have turned the scale. 

Governor Winthrop thus entered on a fifth term of the chief magistracy 
in May, 1637, and soon after his re-election the General Court passed the 
order which gave occasion to the memorable controversy between himself 
and Vane. The order was to the effect " that none should be received to 
inhabite within this Jurisdiction but such as should be allowed by some 
of the magistrates." Winthrop defended the order in an elaborate paper. 
Vane replied in what he termed " A briefe Answer," but which was more 
than three times longer than Winthrop's defence. Winthrop rejoined in a 
replication as long as both the other papers together. Many persons have 
pronounced judgment on these arguments, but few have read them. They 
may all be found in Governor Hutchinson's Collection of Original Papers, who 
dismisses them with the wise remark: " I leave the reader to judge who had 

1 [Cf. N. E. Hist, and Cental. Reg., A-pril, time after. The building is of wood ; the front 

1848; C. W. Upham, Life of Vane; J. B. Moore, part has a modern appearance, but the back 

Gtmernors of New Plymouth and Mass. Bay, p. exhibits marks of antiquity." It has lately, 

313. Snow, Hist, of Boston, p. 75, speaks of however, been denied that this was Vane's 

the house where he lived, as fifty years ago house, by W. H. Whitmore, who (Sewall Pa- 

and more still standing on the slope back pers, i. 58-62) traces the estate down through 

of the stores on Tremont Street, opposite to Seaborn Cotton and John Mull to Samuel 

" King's Chapel Burying Ground," extending up Sewall. The lot touched Tremont Street just 

towards Somerset Street. Snow spoke of it south of the entrance to Pemberton Square, 

as "the oldest house in the city," and adds: and extended south and also back over the 

"It was originally small. Mr. Vane gave it to hill. ED.] 

Mr. Cotton, who made an addition to it, and lived -' [Dr. Ellis, in his chapter on " The Puritan 

and died there. His family occupied it some Commonwealth." ED.] 


the best cause, and who best defended it." Vane's reply has often been 
mentioned as containing a clear and comprehensive exposition of the true 
principles of civil and religious liberty, and as entitling him to be ranked 
among the very earliest assertors of toleration and the rights of conscience. 
His paper, however, as Dr. Palfrey points out in his excellent History of 
New England, contains repeated suggestions of a -power in the King to 
overrule all colonial proceedings, and exhibits him clearly as a friend to the 
Royal Prerogative. But, without detracting in the slightest degree from 
the lofty and enviable claims which have been made for him, it may well 
be more than doubted whether his views were applicable to the condition 
of the colony at the time, and whether the little Commonwealth could have 
been held together in peace and prosperity if held together at all by 
any other policy than that which Winthrop defended. 

It was admirably said by the late Josiah Quincy on this subject, in his 
Centennial Discourse in 1830, that " had our early ancestors adopted the 
course we at this day are apt to deem so easy and obvious, and placed their 
government on the basis of liberty for all sorts of consciences, it would have 
been, in that age, a certain introduction of anarchy. It cannot be questioned 
that all the fond hopes they had cherished from emigration would have 
been lost. The agents of Charles and James would have planted here the 
standard of the transatlantic monarchy and hierarchy. Divided and 
broken, without practical energy, subject to court influences and court 
favorites, New England would at this day have been a colony of the 
parent State, her character yet to be formed, and her independence yet 
to be vindicated." 

"The non-toleration," proceeded Mr. Quincy, "which characterized our 
early ancestors, from whatever source it may have originated, had undoubt- 
edly the effect they intended and wished. It excluded from influence in 
their infant settlement all the friends and adherents of the ancient monarchy 
and hierarchy ; all who, from any motive, ecclesiastical or civil, were dis- 
posed to disturb their peace or their churches. They considered it a 
measure of ' self-defence.' And it is unquestionable that it was chiefly 
instrumental in forming the homogeneous and exclusively republican 
character for which the people of New England have in all times been 
distinguished ; and, above all, that it fixed irrevocably in the country that 
noble security for religious liberty, the independent system of church 

Vane returned to England in August of the same year, and Governor 
Winthrop gave orders for his " honorable dismission " with " divers vollies 
of shot." There was so much that was noble in Vane's character, and so 
much that was sad in his fate, that it is pleasant to remember that Winthrop 
afterwards makes record that " he showed himself in later years a true 
friend to New England, and a man of a noble and generous mind." A 
friendly correspondence was kept up between him and Winthrop as late as 
1645, a "d their relations were cordial and affectionate. 


Hugh Peters had made bold to tell Vane to his face " that, before he 
came, within less than two years since, the churches were in peace." But 
his departure by no means put an end to contentions. On the contrary, 
they seemed to wax warmer and fiercer than before. The General Court 
at last resorted to extreme measures, banishment, disfranchisement, and, 
finally, disarming. On the 2Oth of November, 1637, nearly sixty persons 
in Boston, and about twenty in the neighboring towns, were disarmed, 
many of them persons of the best consideration in the colony, and some of 
whom were afterwards highly distinguished in the military service of New 
England. But all this belongs to the history of the controversies of the 
colony, to form the subject of a separate chapter of this history by a 
different hand. 1 

Another political year opens in May, 1638, with the re-election of Win- 
throp as Governor. During this year the colony was called on to con- 
front a peremptory demand from the Lords Commissioners in England 
for the surrender of the Massachusetts Charter, coupled with the threat of 
sending over a new General Governor from England. But, happily, diplo- 
matic delays were interposed ; a humble petition was sent back, and the di- 
rect issue was " avoided and protracted," by the express advice of Governor 
Winthrop, until the King and his ministers became too much engrossed with 
their own condition at home to think more about their colonies. The 
Charter was saved for another half century, to the great relief and delight 
of those who had brought it over. 2 

Again, in 1639, the May election resulted in the renewal of Winthrop's 
commission as Governor. But pecuniary embarrassments, resulting from the 
fraud of his bailiff", now made him anxious to withdraw from public respon- 
sibilities, and on the I3th of May, 1640, he gave up the chief magistracy 
again to Thomas Dudley, and resumed a place at the Board of Assistants. 
In 1641 Dudley was succeeded by Richard Bellingham, and this year was 
rendered memorable by the adoption of a code of laws, a hundred in 
number, and known as "the Body of Liberties." 3 It had been prepared by 
Nathaniel Ward, pastor of the Ipswich Church, who had formerly been a 
student and practiser of the law in England, and whose Simple Coblcr of 
Agawam has rendered his name familiar. This code had been revised and 
altered by the General Court, and sent into all the towns for consideration. 
And now it was revised and amended again by the General Court, and then 
adopted. For all the previous years of the colony's existence there had 
been no statutes for the administration of justice, and no express recognition 
of the Common Law of England. In establishing this code at last, the 
General Court decreed " that it should be audibly read and deliberately 
weighed in every General Court that shall be held within three years next 
ensuing; a.nd such of them as shall not be altered or repealed, they shall 

1 [Dr. Ellis, as before. ED.] 3 [See the note on this subject in Dr. Ellis's 

2 [The story of the struggle is told later in chapter, as before. ED.] 
Mr. Deane's chapter. Eu.] 


stand so ratified that no man shall infringe them without due punishment." 
The code opened as follows: "No man's life shall be taken away; no 
man's honor or good name shall be stained ; no man's person shall be 
arrested, restrained, banished, dismembered, nor anyways punished; no 
man shall be deprived of his wife or children ; no man's goods or estate 
shall be taken away nor anyway endangered under color of law or coun- 
tenance of authority, unless it be by virtue or equity of some* express law 
of the country warranting the same, established by the General Court and 
sufficiently published, or, in case of the defect of the law in any particular 
case, by the word of God ; and in capital cases, or in cases concerning 
dismembering or banishment, according to that Word to be judged by 
the General Court." 

Governor Winthrop tells us, in 1639, that " the people had long desired a 
body of laws, and thought their condition very unsafe while so much power 
rested in the discretion of the magistrates." Now, at length, the wishes of 
the people had prevailed, and a system of written law was adopted for Mas- 
sachusetts. But it was written only, not yet published, or certainly not yet 
printed; for it was not until November, 1646, that we find the record that 
the Court, " being deeply sensible of the earnest expectation of the country 
in general for their Court's completing a body of laws for the better and 
more orderly wielding all the affairs of this Commonwealth," appointed a 
joint commission of magistrates and deputies " to peruse and examine, com- 
pare, transcribe, and compose in good order all the liberties, laws, and orders 
extant with us ... so as we may have ready recourse to any of them, upon 
all occasions, whereby we may manifest our utter disaffection to arbitrary 
government, and so all relations be safely and sweetly directed and protected 
in all their just rights and privileges; desiring thereby to make way for 
printing our Laws for more public and profitable use of us and our succes- 
sors." Two years more, however, were to elapse before the laws were " at 
the press," and still a third year before the colony records inform us that the 
Court had found, " by experience, the great benefit that doth redound to 
the country by putting of the law in print" The first printed edition of 
the laws was in 1649, while " The Body of Liberties," of which the preamble 
has just been given, as adopted in 1641, did not find its way into type until 
two full centuries afterwards. 

Winthrop was elected Governor again in 1642, with Endicott as 
Deputy-Governor. The year was rendered 
notable by a controversy arising out of the 
publication in manuscript copies, not by 
printing of a book of Richard Salton- 
stall's, a son of that good Sir Richard * who 
had come over in the " Arbella " as one of CD- A- ( 
the Assistants, on the transfer of the charter V 
and chief government to New England, and who, while returning home 

1 [The autographs are those of father and son. ED.] 
VOL. I. 17. 


himself after a brief stay, left a part of his family behind him to perpetuate 
an honored name in the history of Massachusetts. The Book was prin- 
cipally aimed at " The Council for Life," to which only three persons had 
ever been chosen, Winthrop, Dudley, and Endicott; of which, indeed, 
nothing but a nominal life-tenure remained, and of which Winthrop took oc- 
casion to say that " he was no more in love with the honor or power of it than 
with an old frieze coat in a summer's day." But a more serious controversy 
soon followed, which lasted for nearly two years, and which happily termi- 
nated in an organic change for the better in the mode of colonial legislation. 
" There fell out," says Winthrop, " a great business upon a very small oc- 
casion. Anno 1636 there was a stray sow in Boston, which was brought to 
Captain Keayne ; he had it cried divers times, and divers came to see it, but 
none made claim to it for near a year. He kept it in his yard with a sow of 
his own. Afterwards, one Sherman's wife, having lost such a sow, laid claim 
to it," and so the story is pursued for many pages. This stray sow in 
the streets of Boston (and it was a white sow) is hardly less historical 
than the white sow which guided ./Eneas to the future site of Rome. 1 It 
led to the great dispute between the magistrates and the deputies in re- 
gard to the " Negative Voice," and to the final separation, by solemn order, 
of the Legislature of Massachusetts into two co-ordinate branches, Magis- 
trates and Deputies, or, as we now style them, Senators and Representatives. 
This order, as contained in the Colonial Records of March 7, 1644, is too 
notable to be omitted in any account of the gradual progress of the colony 
towards constitutional government. It is as follows : 

" Forasmuch as, after long experience, we find divers inconveniences in the man- 
ner of our proceeding in Courts by magistrates and deputies sitting together, and ac- 
counting it wisdom to follow the laudable practice of other States who have laid 
groundworks for government and order in the issuing of greatest and highest conse- 

" It is therefore ordered, first, that the magistrates may sit and act business by 
themselves, by drawing up bills and orders which they shall see good in their wisdom, 
which having agreed upon, they may present them to the deputies to be considered of, 
how good and wholesome such orders are for the country, and accordingly to give their 
assent or dissent ; the deputies in like manner sitting apart by themselves, and consult- 
ing about such orders and laws as they in their discretion and experience shall find meet 
for common good, which, agreed upon by them, they may present to the magistrates, 
who, according to their wisdom, having seriously considered of them, may consent 
unto them or disallow them ; and when any orders have passed the approbation of 
both magistrates and deputies, then such orders to be engrossed, and in the last day 
of the Court to be read deliberately, and full assent to be given ; provided, also, that 
all matters of judicature which this Court shall take cognizance of shall be issued in 
like manner." 2 

But the record of 1642 must not be closed without recalling the fact that 
it was the year of the first Commencement of Harvard College. Endowed 

1 Virgil, jfLneid, bk. Hi. lines 390-94. 2 Massachusetts Colonial Records, ii. 58, 59. 


by the infant colony in 1636, the College assumed a practical existence in 
1638, taking the name of the Rev. John Harvard, of whom, alas! so little is 
known except his immortal bequest. And now, at the end of the first four 
years' term, Governor Winthrop has the satisfaction of making the following 
entry in his Journal : 

" Nine bachelors commenced at Cambridge ; they were young men of good hope, 
and performed their acts so as gave good proof of their proficiency in the tongues 
and arts. (8.) 5. The general court had settled a government or superintendency 
over the college, viz., all the magistrates and elders over the six nearest churches and 
the president, or the greatest part of these. Most of them were now present at this 
first Commencement, and dined at the college with the scholar's ordinary commons, 
which was done of purpose for the students' encouragement, &c., and it gave good 
content to all." 

Winthrop was again elected Governor for 1643, with Endicott as his 
Deputy-Governor. The General Court, at its first session of this year, 
divided " the whole plantation within this jurisdiction " into four shires, 
or counties, Suffolk, with Boston at its head, and seven other towns ; 
Norfolk, with " Salsberry " at its head, and five other towns ; Essex, with 
Salem at its head, and seven other "towns; Middlesex, with Charlestown 
at its head, and eight other towns. There were thus already thirty-four 
towns in Massachusetts, distributed among four counties, or shires. At 
the following session, a number of the neighboring Indian Sachems made 
voluntary submission of themselves to the government of Massachusetts, 
and the records contain sundry questions which were propounded to them, 
with their answers of consent or agreement. A single one of the nine or 
ten will illustrate their character : 

" 3. Not to do any unnecessary worke on y 6 Sabath day, especially w'. h in y 6 gates 
of Christian townes." 

Answer : " It is easy to y ; they have not much to do on any day, and they can 
well take their ease on y! day." 

But the great event of this year, and one of the most memorable events 
in the early history of our whole country, was the final formation of that 
New England Confederation or Union, by written articles of agreement, 
which is the original example and pattern of whatever unions or confedera- 
tions have since been proposed or established on the American Continent. 
It was adopted by only four Colonies, Massachusetts and Plymouth, 
Connecticut and New Haven, the four which were afterwards consolidated 
into two. But it was formed by those who were " desirous of union and 
studious of peace," and it embodied principles, and recognized rights, and 
established precedents, which have entered largely into the composition of 
all subsequent instruments of union. It had been proposed as early as 
1637, and Governor Winthrop had labored unceasingly to accomplish it 
for six years. He was recognized as its principal prompter and promoter 



by the famous Thomas Hooker, of Connecticut, in a remarkable letter, thank- 
ing him for the " speciall prudence " with which he had labored " to settle 
a foundation of safety and prosperity in succeeding ages," and for laying, 
with his faithful assistants, " the first stone of the foundation of this com- 
bynation of peace.'.' l The little congress of commissioners was held and 
organized in Boston on the 7th (ijth) of September, 1643, the birthday of 
the town, and Winthrop was elected its first president. The same day of 
the same month, nearly a hundred and fifty years later (1787), was to mark 
the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, in which it is not dif- 
ficult to discern some provisions which may have owed their origin to the 
Articles of this old New England Confederation. 

The year 1643 did not end without witnessing the rise and progress, but 
unhappily not the end, of the La Tour and D'Aulnay controversy, which 
involved not a few of the jealousies and animosities which have more re- 
cently occupied the public mind in connection with foreigners and Papists, 
and which involved also some nice points of neutrality and international law. 
Governor Winthrop gave vigorous expression to his views on the subject in 
one of the papers to which the controversy gave occasion, and in particular 
reply to some reproaches which were cast upon his own course. This paper 
has been preserved by Hutchinson, 2 and contains the following passage near 
its close : 

" All amounts to this summe : The Lord hath brought us hither, through the 
swelling seas, through the perills of pyrates, tempests, leakes, fires, rocks, sands, dis- 
eases, starvings ; and hath here preserved us these many yeares from the displeasure of 
Princes, the envy and rage of Prelates, the malignant plots of Jesuits, the mutinous 
contentions of discontented persons, the open and secret attempts of barbarous In- 
dians, the seditious and undermining practices of hereticall false brethren ; and is our 
confidence and courage all swallowed up in the feare of one D'Aulnay? " 

But this much-vexed controversy, with all the others, belongs to a dif- 
ferent writer and another chapter. 3 

The political year of 1644 opens with the election of Endicott as Gover- 
nor, and Winthrop as Deputy-Governor. The year was one of much 
political agitation. Grave discussions were held at the successive sessions 
of the General Court as to the principles on which the government should 
be administered, and particularly as to the respective powers of the two 
branches of the Legislature. The magistrates and deputies were drawn into 
frequent and earnest contention with each other, and the ministers and elders 
were sometimes called upon to give judgment or arbitrate between them. 
In connection with this controversy, and in justification of his own views, 
Winthrop prepared an elaborate Treatise on Government, entitled "Arbi- 
trary Governm! described : and the Governmen' of the Massachusetts vin- 

1 Letter of Hooker, 4 Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. 2 Hutchinson, Collection of Original Paper:, 

pp. 389-390. |See, further, in Mr. Smith's chap- p. 121-132. 

ter on "Boston and the Neighboring Jurisdic- 3 [By C. C. Smith, "Boston and the Neigh- 

tions." ED.] boring Jurisdictions." ED.] 


dicated from that Aspersion." This work only added fuel to the flame. 
While it was still the subject of private consultation, and before it was 
revised and prepared for presentation to the General Court, some of the 
deputies succeeded in procuring a copy, and made it the subject of cen- 
sorious criticism. An autograph copy has lately been discovered among 
Winthrop's papers, and it has very recently been printed for the first time 
since it was written. 1 

Thomas Dudley was substituted for Endicott as Governor in 1645, and 
Winthrop was again made Deputy-Governor. The Governor's Journal for 
this year contains the following noteworthy record : 

" Divers free schools were erected, as at Roxbury (for maintenanc^whereof every 
inhabitant bound some house or land for a yearly allowance forever) and at Boston, 
where they made an order to allow forever 50 pounds to the master and an house, 
and 30 pounds to an usher, who should also teach to read and write and cipher, and 
Indians' children were to be taught freely, and the, charge to be by yearly contribution, 
either by voluntary allowance, or by rate of such as refused, &c. ; and this order was 
confirmed by the General Court \blanfc\. Other towns did the like, providing main- 
tenance by several means." 

But the most signal event of this year was what has sometimes been 
called " the Impeachment of Winthrop." The story is told so well by Dr. 
Palfrey, in his History of New England? that we are unwilling to give it 
any other words than his : 

" A dispute, local in its origin, and apparently of slight importance for a time, but 
finally engaging at once the military, the religious, and the civil authorities of the col- 
ony, was bequeathed by Endicott to his successor. The train-band of the town of 
Hingham, having chosen Anthony Eames to be their captain, ' presented him to the 
Standing Council for their allowance.' While the business was in this stage, the soldiers 
altered their minds, and in a second election gave the place to Bozoun Allen. The 
magistrates, thinking that an injustice and affront had been offered to Eames, determined 
that the former election should be held valid until the Court should take further order. 
The company would not obey their captain, and mutinied. He was summoned before 
the church of his town, under a charge of having made misrepresentations to the mag- 
istrates. He went to Boston and laid his case before them. They ' sent warrant to 
the constable to attach some of the principal offenders [Peter Hobart, minister of 
Hingham, being one] to appear before them at Boston, to find sureties for their ap- 
pearance at the next Court.' Hobart came and remonstrated so intemperately that 
' some of the magistrates told him that, were it not for respect for his ministry, they 
would commit him.' Two of those arraigned with him refused to give bonds, and 
Winthrop sent them to jail. 

" So the affair stood at the time of Dudley's accession. Hobart and some eighty 
of his friends petitioned for a hearing before the General Court upon the lawfulness of 
their committal ' by some of the magistrates, for words spoken concerning the power 
of the General Court, and their liberties, and the liberties of the Church.' The dep- 

1 Life and Letters of John Winthrop, ii. 440- throp, in 1876, to the Public Library, where it 
459. [The original manuscript, with all the now is. ED.] 
papers relating to it, was given by Mr. Win- 2 Vol. ii. p. 254. 


uties, on their part, complied with the request, and sent a vote accordingly to the 
magistrates for their concurrence. The magistrates ' returned answer, that they were 
willing the cause should be heard, so as the petitioners would name the magistrates 
whom they intended, and the matters they would lay to their charge, c. The peti- 
tioners' agents, who were then deputies of the Court, . . . thereupon singled out the 
Deputy- Governor [Winthrop], and two of the petitioners undertook the prosecution.' 
The magistrates were loath to sanction so irregular a proceeding ; but Winthrop de- 
sired to make his vindication, and the petitioners were permitted to have their way. 

" ' The day appointed being come, the Court assembled in the meeting-house at 
Boston. Divers of the elders were present, and a great assembly of people. The 
Deputy-Governor [Winthrop], coming in with the rest of the magistrates, placed him- 
self beneath within the bar, and so sat uncovered.' At this ' many both of the Court 
and the assembly were grieved.' But he said that he had taken what was the fit place 
for an accused person, and that, ' if he were upon the bench, it would be a great dis- 
advantage to him, for he could not take that liberty to plead the cause which he ought 
to be allowed at the bar.' 

" In the full argument which followed, the Deputy-Governor 'justified all the par- 
ticulars laid to his charge ; as that, upon credible information of such a mutinous prac- 
tice and open disturbance of the peace and slighting of authority, the offenders were 
sent for, the principal by warrant to the constable to bring them, and others by summons, 
and that some were bound over to the next Court of Assistants, and others, that 
refused to be bound, were committed ; and all this according to the equity of laws 
here established, and the custom and laws of England, and our constant practice these 
fifteen years.' " 

The matter was under debate, says Palfrey, for more than seven weeks, 
with only one week's intermission, and was at length adjusted by an agree- 
ment on all hands for a complete acquittal of Winthrop, and for the punish- 
ment of all the petitioners by fines, the largest of which was twenty pounds, 
and that of the minister two pounds. 

" According to this agreement," writes Winthrop himself, in his Journal, " presently 
after the lecture, the magistrates and deputies took their places in the meeting-house ; 
and the people being come together, and the Deputy-Governor placing himself within 
the bar, as at the time of the hearing, &c., the Governor [Dudley] read the sentence 
of the Court, without speaking any more ; for the deputies had (by importunity) ob- 
tained a promise of silence from the magistrates. Then was the Deputy-Governor 
desired by the Court to go up and take his place again upon the bench, which he did 
accordingly, and the. Court being about to arise, he desired leave for a little speech." 

Few speeches, if any, which have ever been made in Boston, during 
its two centuries and a half of existence, have attained a celebrity so wide 
and so durable as this " little speech" of Winthrop's, delivered in the meet- 
ing-house of its First Church, before the assembled General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts, on the I4th (24th) of May, 1645. In the Modern Universal 
History 1 it is given at length, and pronounced " equal to anything of an- 
tiquity, whether we consider it as coming from a philosopher or a magis- 

1 Vol. xxxix. 


trate." James Grahame, the excellent Scotch historian of the United 
States, says of it: "The circumstances in which this address was delivered 
recall the most interesting scenes of Greek and Roman history; while in 
the wisdom, piety, and dignity that it breathes, it resembles the magnan- 
imous vindication of a judge of Israel." De Tocqueville, in his remarkable 
essay on Democracy in America, quotes a passage from it as " a fine 
definition of liberty." This passage may well be quoted here, as one of 
the cherished memorials of the early days of Boston : 

" There is a two-fold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) , and 
civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By 
this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists ; it is 
a liberty to evil as well as to good. This liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with 
authority, and cannot endure the least restraint of the most just authority. The exer- 
cise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse 
than brute beasts : Omnes sumus licentia deteriores. This is that great enemy of 
truth and peace, that wild beast, which all the ordinances of God are bent against, to 
restrain and subdue it. 

" The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal ; it may also be termed moral, 
in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic 
covenants and constitutions amongst men themselves. This liberty is the proper end 
and object of authority, and cannot subsist without it ; and it is a liberty to that only 
which is good, just, and honest. This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard (not 
only of your goods, but) of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this, is not 
authority, but a distemper thereof. This liberty is maintained and exercised in a way 
of subjection to authority ; it is of the same kind of liberty wherewith Christ hath made 
us free." 

Winthrop, as we have seen, had encountered many controversies; but 
this was the last. In 1646, 1647, and 1648, successively, he was elected Gov- 
ernor again, with Thomas Dudley as Deputy-Governor. He did not live to 
be the subject of an election in 1649. 

The limits of our chapter will not allow of any detailed account of the 
legislation of the colony, or of the progress of Boston, as its capital, during 
these three remaining years. Yet there are some matters which must not 
be omitted. And before all others must be mentioned, as an enactment of 
inestimable value and of immeasurable influence on the future character and 
welfare of the Colony and the Commonwealth, the Order of Nov. n (21), 
1647, which was in the following words : 

" It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the 
knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times by keeping them in an unknown 
tongue ; so in these latter times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so at 
least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded by false glosses of 
saint-seeming deceivers, that learning may not be buried in the grave of our fathers 
in the Church and Commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors, 

" It is therefore Ordered, that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord 
hath increased them to the number of fifty householders, shall then forthwith appoint 


one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read 
whose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the 
inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those that order the pru- 
dentials of the town shall appoint ; provided those that send their children be not op- 
pressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for in other towns. 

" And it is further Ordered, that when any town shall increase to the number of one 
hundred families or householders, they shall set up a Grammar School, the master 
thereof being able to instruct youth so far as they may be fitted for the University ; 
provided, that if any town neglect the performance hereof above one year, that every 
such town shall pay five pounds to the next school till they shall perform this Order." 

Massachusetts has nothing wiser or nobler to boast of, whether in her 
earlier or her later legislation, than this memorable provision for Education. 
It has been the very light of her own path, and the inspiration of her 
own onward progress, from that day to this ; while it has furnished an ex- 
ample, never to be forgotten, to all the world. Two centuries after this Order 
was passed by her little General Court, it was held up for imitation and 
admiration in the British Parliament by one of the most brilliant speakers 
and writers of his day. 1 

At this same session of the Colonial Legislature a provision was made 
as follows: 

" It is agreed by the Court, to the end we may have the better light for making and 
proceeding about laws, that there shall be these books following procured for the use 
of the Court from time to time : Two of Sir Edw d Cooke upon Littleton ; two of 
the Books of Entryes ; two of Sir Edw d Cooke upon Magna Charta ; two of the New 
Terms of the Law; two Dalton's Justice of Peace; two of Sir Edw* 1 Cooke's 

English Law, with Coke as its expositor and commentator, was thus 
adopted as the model of Massachusetts legislation, while the foundation was 
laid thus early of a State Library for the General Court. But from Eng- 
land, too, Massachusetts seems to have derived her earliest suggestions and 
encouragements in regard to the dreadful delusion which was soon to per- 
vade the colony. The records of the May session of 1648 contain this 
clause : 

" The Court desire the course which hath been taken in England for discover)' of 
Witches, by watching them a certain time. It is Ordered, that the best and surest 
way may forthwith be put in practice, to begin this night if it may be, being the 
18'!' of the 3? mo., and that the husband may be confined to a private room, and he 
also then watched." 

But the story of Witchcraft, either in Old or in New England, of which 
this record is but a preamble, belongs happily to a later chapter. 

It only remains for us to close this summary sketch of the foundation- 
period of Massachusetts and of Boston by some notice of the death of him 

1 Macaulay, in 1847, in my own hearing. 



who has often been called the Father of both. Governor Winthrop's last 
entry in his Journal bears date the I ith of January, 1648, or as we now count 
it, the 2 ist of January, 1649. This was the very last day of his sixty- 
first year. A letter to his eldest son, bearing date, in modern style, BOS- 


ton, Feb. 10, 1649, ' ls tne l ast written evidence of his being in life and 
health. We hear next of his having " a cold which turned into a fever," 
and that he " lay sick about a month." Five or six years before he had 
written of himself, " Age now comes upon me, and infirmities therewithal, 
which makes me apprehend that the time of my departure out of this world 

1 The best portrait of Governor Winthrop is 
that in the Senate Chamber of Massachusetts, 
always ascribed to Van Dyck. There is a mar- 
ble statue of him, in a sitting posture, in the 
chapel at Mount Auburn, and another, stand- 
ing, in the Capitol at Washington. A third, 
standing and in bronze, is to be unveiled in 
Boston on the I7th of September next. All 
the statues are by Richard S. Greenough. [See 
R. C. Winthrop's Life and Letters of John Win- 
throp, ii. 408. The portrait in the Senate Cham- 
VOL. I. l8. 

ber is that referred to in Mather's Magnalia. 
A descendant in New York has another likeness, 
much inferior, of which there is a copy, or 
duplicate, in the hall of the Antiquarian Society 
at Worcester. The family has also a miniature, 
thought to be an original ; but it is in very 
bad condition. There are two copies of the 
Senate Chamber likeness in Memorial Hall at 
Cambridge ; another in the Boston Athenaeum, 
and one in the gallery of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society. Eu.] 


is not far off. However, our times are all in the Lord's hand, so as we need 
not trouble our thoughts how long or short they may be, but how we may 
be found faithful when we are called for." He now sent for the elders ot 
the church to pray with him, and " the whole church fasted as well as prayed 
for him," John Cotton preaching a sermon on the occasion. Deputy-Gov- 
ernor Dudley is said to have waited on him, during this last illness, to urge 
him, as Governor, to sign an order for the banishment of some one deemed 
heterodox ; but Winthrop refused, saying that " he had done too much of 
that work already." 1 He died, March 26 (April 5), 1649, being, as Mr. 
Savage has been careful to calculate (in correcting the error of Cotton 
Mather), 61 years 2 months and 14 days old. 

Governor Winthrop died at his residence, on what is now Washington 
Street, just opposite the foot of School Street, his garden being now oc- 
cupied by the " Old South." His house was burned up as firewood by the 
British soldiers in 1775, while they were using the meeting-house for their 
cavalry horses. In the parlors of that house, immediately after he had 
breathed his last, a consultation was held by the principal persons of Bos- 
ton as to the ordering of the funeral, " it being the desire of all that in 
that solemnity it may appear of what precious account and desert he hath 
been, and how blessed his memorial." These were the words used by John 
Wilson and John Cotton and Richard Bellingham and John Clark, in a let- 
ter 2 addressed to John Winthrop of Connecticut, " from his father's parlour," 
on the same day, announcing that the funeral would take place on the 
3d (i3th) of April, and despatched by a swift Indian messenger. On the 
1 3th of April, accordingly, his remains were buried with " great solemnity 
and honor," in what is now known as the " King's Chapel Burial Ground," 
where the old Winthrop tomb is still to be seen. The only positive state- 
ment in regard to the funeral is found in the following record at the next 
meeting of the General Court : 

" Whereas the Surveyor General, on some encouragements, lent one barrel and a 
half of the country's store of powder to the Artillery officers of Boston, conditionally, 
if the General Court did not allow it to them as a gift to spend it at the funeral of our 
late honored Governor, they should repay it, the powder being spent on the oc- 
casion above said, the Court doth think meet that the powder so delivered should 
never be required again, and thankfully acknowledge Boston's great, worthy, and due 
love and respects to the late honored Governor, which they manifested in solemnizing 
his funeral, whom we accounted worthy of all honor." 3 

Nearly twenty years had now elapsed since Winthrop was elected Gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts by the Company in London ; nearly nineteen years 

1 The authority for this statement, which had Priest," probably Marmaduke Matthews, who 

eluded the search of Mr. Savage, has been had then been ten years in the colony, 

kindly furnished to the writer of this chapter by 2 [Given in fac-simile in the Life of John 

Dr. George H. Moore, the superintendent of Winthrop, ii. 395. ED.| 

the Lenox Library in New York, viz., George 8 [See Shurtleff's Desc. of Boston, pp. 190, 652 ; 

Bishop's New England Judged, 1661, p. 172. and Mr Winthrop's appeal for the preservation 

Bishop mentions the person whose banishment of the old burial spots in Boston in Mass. Hist. 

was urged as " one Matthews, a Weltch man, a Soc. Proc., September, 1879. ED.] 


since he landed with the Company at Salem, bringing the charter of Mas- 
sachusetts with him. During that period he had been twelve times re- 
elected as Governor, three times chosen Deputy-Governor, and in all the 
few other years had served at the head of the Board of Assistants. Mean- 
time there had been no intermission of his devoted services to Boston, at 
the head of her Selectmen, or otherwise, from the day on which, under his 
auspices, the town was founded, and " Trimontaine called Boston." Boston 
had now become the thriving and prosperous capital of a colony which con- 
tained more than fifteen thousand people. Institutions of government, 
education, and religion had been established in town and country. Indeed, 
Dr. Palfrey, in his history, writing of this period, says : 

" The vital system of New England, as it had now been created, was complete. It 
had only thenceforward to grow, as the human body grows from childhood to graceful 
and robust maturity." l 

And he adds, in relation to Winthrop : 

" The importance which history should ascribe to his life must be proportionate 
to the importance attributed to the subsequent agency of that Commonwealth of 
which he was the most eminent founder. It would be erroneous to pretend that the 
principles upon which it was established were an original conception of his mind ; but 
undoubtedly it was his policy, more than any other man's, that organized into shape, 
animated with practical vigor, and prepared for permanency those primeval senti- 
ments and institutions that have directed the course of thought and action in New 
England in later times. And equally certain is it that among the millions of living 
men descended from those whom he ruled, there is not one who does not through 
efficient influences, transmitted in society and thought along the intervening genera- 
tions owe much of what is best within him, and in the circumstances about him, 
to the benevolent and courageous wisdom of JOHN WINTHROP." 2 

Similar tributes by Cotton Mather and Governor Hutchinson, by Josiah 
Quincy and George Bancroft, and others, might be added. But one such 
is enough, coming as it does from a venerable author to whom no suspicion 
of partiality can attach. 

1 Hist, of New England, ii. 265. 2 Hist, of New England, ii. 266. 



[NOTE. This auto- 
graph of the famous Eng- 
lish patriotjohn Ilampden, 
which concerns Governor 
Winthrop's " Conclusions 
for New England," and is 
referred to by Mr. Win- 
throp in the preceding 
chapter, is taken from a 
fac-simile of the entire let- 
ter, in Jlfiiss. Hist. Soc. free., 
July, 1865. The letter was 
addressed to Sir John Eliot, 
and was found among his 
papers, together with the 
transcript, sent by Eliot, 
endorsed " The project for 
New England. For Mr. 
Hampden," and this text 
of the paper, together with 
another from the State Pa- 
per Office, is given in the 
same place. It may be 
interesting in this connec- 
tion to recall the fact that Isaac Johnson, before leaving England, made a 
will, in which John Ilampden and John Winthrop were associated as his 
executors, and the sum .of "three pounds lawful monies " left to each of 
them "to make him a ringe of." 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., viii. 244, 245. ED.] 



Vice-President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

THE colony or local government established here by the original set- 
tlers and founders was not by themselves called " The Puritan Com- 
monwealth ; " but the title is a most apt and just one for defining what 
really seems to have been their intent, and what was actually the result of 
their enterprise. Nor is it likely that those most gravely engaged in that 
enterprise would have objected to that title. There is no assumption in it 
which would have to them seemed unbecoming; nor would prejudice, con- 
tempt, or satire associated with it have led them to repudiate it. 

The title, however, is one assigned by a later age, and after the experi- 
ment which it describes had been modified by stress of circumstances, or, 
as some would even say, had failed. It is our phrase for designating the 
idea and the practical working of a sternly serious scheme of colonization on 
the shores of Massachusetts Bay, of which the town of Boston was the centre. 
Nor is it presumptuous in us to say that we ourselves are more favorably situ- 
ated for forming a fuller and more intelligible view of their object than they 
defined in such statements of it as they have left to us. Of course, they 
had what was to them a deliberately formed design, clear in its main 
intent and distinguished in its chief purpose, however vaguely appre- 
hended, as to all the requisitions and conditions which would present them- 
selves in its practical working. We look back upon it, and, seeing what it 
involved of difficulties, embarrassments, and errors; we can judge it more 
wisely ; and while generously appreciating its sincerity in their hearts, and 
the zeal and sacrifice which they devoted to it, we may account its qualified 
merits and success to causes which they did not take into view as likely to 
thwart their purposes. 

Following the wise counsel for guidance in such investigations ex- 
pressed in the maxim, Melius est petere fontes quam scctare rivnlos, we must 
derive our idea of the intent and object and the animating spirit of the 
enterprise from those who as its foremost leaders planned and guided it, and 
from documents left by them which were contemporary with the movement. 


The leaders, the master spirits of it, were few in number; yet, the whole 
undertaking being at their charges and under their responsibility, they were 
entitled to authority in its direction. We must from the first distinguish 
carefully between the purposes and just rights of these responsible leaders, 
who embarked their worldly means and prospects in a scheme of their own 
devising, and the qualified interests of others soon to become the major- 
ity who, as associates, adventurers, servants, and subsequent members of 
the company, acceded to an influence over the development and fortunes 
of the enterprise without having the same ends in view, or the same interest 
at stake in it. 

The Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay derived certain 
defined rights and privileges from a patent purchased by them of the 
" Grand Council of Plymouth," confirmed by a royal charter. It was the 
manifest intent of this charter to constitute and empower a trading company, 
to be resident and administered in England, with power to send its agents 
to transact and oversee its business in the waters and over the territory here 
assigned to it. The circumstances under which, contrary to the manifest 
intent of the charter, it was transferred here and used as the basis of a gov- 
ernment claiming its sanction, to be set up and administered on this soil, 
have been defined on other pages. 1 

It is for us, at this point, to penetrate as thoroughly as we can into the 
avowed or secret purposes, so that we may apprehend the real motives of 
the chief and the responsible movers of the enterprise, those who bore the 
cost of it, and claimed the authority to direct it. We have to guide us 
the significant fact that when, after due deliberation in private conferences 
and much serious consultation, the decision of transferring the charter and 
its administration was reached, there were some very important changes 
made in the membership and government of the company. We look for 
the master motive, and we question the leaders as to their spirit and pur- 
poses. The governor, John Winthrop, the foremost of these leaders; 
the wisest, truest, and most constant among those who formed and guided 
the enterprise, on his voyage of permanent exile hither, having em- 
barked his whole estate in the venture, wrote in his cabin an essay, to which 
he gave the title : A Modell of Christian Charity? For tenderness and 
devoutness of tone, for gentleness and serenity of spirit, and for loftiness 
of self-consecration to unselfish, self-sacrificing aims, it will be difficult to 
find any like composition with which to compare it. In this, he writes : 
" For the worke wee have in hand, it is by a mutuall consent, through a 
special overvaluing providence and a more than an ordinary approbation of 
y e Churches of Christ, to seek out a place of cohabitation and Consorte- 
shipp under a due form of Government both civill and ecclesiasticall. In 
such cases as this, y e care of y c publique must oversway all private respects 
by which not only conscience, but meare civill pollicy, dothe bind us." 

It hardly needs to be suggested that, while Winthrop was the master 

1 |Cf. Mr. Winthrop's and Mr. Deane's chapters. En.| 2 | In 3 Mass. Hist. Col. vii. 31. En.] 


spirit of the enterprise, he was by no means the arbitrary, autocractic dic- 
tator, asserting and securing for it the direction of his individual will. He 
was but one of a choice fellowship of intimate friends, animated by the 
same devout and generous aims. There is evidence enough in the con- 
ferences and debates above referred to that he and his chief associates had 
come into accord and mutual understanding by a deliberate weighing of 
proposals, a comparison of their several judgments, and a counting of 
costs. Winthrop makes a pointed reference, in his Modell of Charity, 
to the close-drawn covenant of mutual fidelity which he and his brethren 
had bound between them. He says : " Wee must be knitt together in this 
worke as one man. Wee must entertaine each other in brotherly affection. 
Wee must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for y e supply 
of others' necessities. Wee must uphold a familiar converse together in all 
meekeness, gentlenes, patience, and liberality. Wee must delight in cache 
other ; make others' conditions our owne ; rejoice together, mourne to- 
gether, labour and suffer together, always having before our eyes our com- 
mission and community in the worke, as members of y e same body, &c." 

With these helps for our guidance (among which we must reckon the 
Conclusions for New England, described in the preceding chapter), we may 
proceed to indicate the main design of the leaders of the enterprise, and the 
method by which they aimed to accomplish it. One preliminary sugges- 
tion may not be out of place here. Among the censorious criticisms, the 
harsh judgments, and even expressions of contempt and ridicule, to which 
the " Puritan Commonwealth " and its leaders in Church and State have 
been subjected in later times, the candid and considerate student of their 
plans and doings is generally able to discern for himself the line of distinc- 
tion between what is fair and reasonable and what is simply misleading and 
unjust in the arraignment of them before their posterity. Certain it is, that 
no assailant of the motives, methods, and plans of these Puritan founders 
of a new State has ever charged himself with the obligation to show how 
any particular set and sort of men and women could have been moved by 
the purpose and inspired with the energy and zeal for such an enterprise, 
unless a profoundly religious spirit had quickened them; nor how, with a 
series of failures before them as warnings, they could have failed to protect 
their hazardous venture against the risks of discord, sedition, and disaster to 
which it was exposed, by some such measures and safeguards as would have 
to those not personally in full accord with them the character of severity, 
bigotry, and stern intolerance. Their enterprise was arduous and full of 
perils. Failure would be ruin to them. Nor was it strange that, while they 
prepared for and faced the real dangers of their enterprise, they should have 
yielded also to timid apprehensions and anxious forebodings of possible 

Though, as has been said, the "Puritan Commonwealth" was not a phrase 
adopted by the founders of Boston and Massachusetts as the title of the 
government and State which they set up here, there was a word of equal 


significance and fitness which they did accept for that purpose, the word 
" theocracy." From the most careful study of their motives and designs, as 
meditated by the leaders and tentatively carried out in their legislation and 
institutions, we draw this inference, that it was their aim and effort to 
establish here a Christian commonwealth, which should bear the same rela- 
tion to the whole Bible, as its Statute-book, which the Jewish commonwealth 
bore to the Scriptures of the Old Testament. 1 Their legislation and institu- 
tions were not founded upon nor guided by the spirit of the New Testa- 
ment distinctively. Had they been so, they would doubtless have been in 
several respects much modified. And though the founders did intend to 
distinguish between certain ceremonial and institutional elements of the 
" Old Covenant " which they believed to be abrogated and those which they 
regarded as of permanent and perpetual authority for " the people of God," 
they did not draw the dividing line so sharply or so indulgently on the side 
of larger liberty for Christians as it has been drawn, by general approval, in 
later times. The punctiliousness, the authority, the judicial severity of the 
old dispensation, and its blending, of the functions of Church and State were 
adopted as vital principles of the Puritan theocracy. This fact appears 
alike in their long delay and reluctance to construct anything answering to 
a code of laws, and in the character of the code which they finally adopted. 
They felt it to be their solemn duty rather to put into force and require 
obedience to laws which, as they believed, God had already proclaimed for 
them than to enact laws of their own. So, while waiting deliberately before 
engaging in such legislation as the emergency of their condition might re- 

1 [Perhaps the best explanation to be found in the end to be identical. The Pilgrims were 

in their own writings of the intent of our New separatists, professedly outside the pale of the 

England Puritan's system of church government, English Church; the Puritans but gradually 

as distinguished from that of the Church of Eng- emancipated themselves from its fetters. This 

land, is in John Cotton's Keyes of the Kingdom is the view taken in the following books : Dr. 

of Heaven, 1644, and in his Way of the Churches Waddington's Tracks of the Hidden Church, and 

of Christ in New England, 1645. The prevailing more elaborately in his Congrfgational History, 

views of the following generation find record in of which there is in the Congregational Quarterly, 

Mather's Magnalia, and still later, with Baptist 1874, a searching review by H. M. Dexter, who 

tendencies, in Backus's Hist, of New England, also covers the ground in his Congregationalism 

and it was chiefly upon these two books that, at as seen in its Literature; articles by I. N. Tarbox 

the suggestion of Neander, Uhden wrote his on "Plymouth and the Bay" in the Congregational 

Geschichte der Congregationalisten in Neu Eng- Quarterly, xvii., and "Pilgrims and Puritans " in 

land bis 1740, of which there is an English the Old Colony Hist. Soc. Coll. 1878; Punchard's 

translation, with characterization of the chief History of Congregationalism, iii. 443; Benjamin 

authorities in an appendix. Views of the aims Scott in a lecture, London, 1866, reprinted in 

and significance of the churches from the point Hist. Mag., May, 1867, from which is mostly 

taken by those holding with modern qualifica- derived an article, " Pilgrims and Puritans," in 

tions to their transmitted beliefs will be found Scrilmer's Monthly, June, 1876. Cf. also Hist. 

in Leonard Wood's Theology of the Puritans, Mag., May and November, 1867, October, 1869; 

and in Leonard Bacon's Genesis of the Nnv Eng- Baylies's Old Colony, \. ch. i. ; Barry's Afassa- 

land Churches. The latter book aims rather to chuselts, i. ch. ii. ; Palfrey's Ne~M England, i. ch. 

show how the neighboring colony of New Ply- iii. ; Essex Institute Hist. Coll. iv. 145, by A. C. 

mouth exerted an influence upon the gathering Goodell ; and Dr. Bacon on the " Reaction of 

churches of the Bay. A distinction has of late New England on English Puritanism in the 

been much insisted upon between the principles Seventeenth Century," in the New Englander, 

of these neighboring communities, which came July, 1878. ED.] 


quire, they were content to understand that Scripture should furnish them 
guidance in their code. And when, after a long deferring of this need- 
ful work for their government, and many ingenious excuses for their pro- 
crastination, they were finally compelled by the impatient demands of the 
people to provide for them a " body of liberties," the influence of the lead- 
ing spirits prevailed to secure for their legislation a Jewish austerity, and to 
reinforce their authority by Old-Testament texts. 1 

In our attempt to understand and to judge with fairness the intent and 
purpose of the founders of this New England theocracy, it is of course of 
prime importance that we view them in the light of their own beliefs and 
consciences. 2 The fundamental condition of their rectitude and sincerity in 
heart and aim is put beyond all question by their efforts, their sacrifices, 
their exposing themselves and all they possessed in this world, and com- 
mitting their hopes for another to the stern deprivations, perils, and suffer- 
ings involved in their wilderness enterprise. And as to the Scriptural the- 
ocratical foundation which was the basis of the Puritan Commonwealth, 
visionary and impracticable as the scheme seems to us in its own principles, 
in the discomfitures and errors attending its experimental trial, and in its 
confessed failure, a wise review of the past and a knowledge of the work- 
ings of human nature will at least relieve the scheme of contempt and 
ridicule. Very many and very visionary, ranging all the way from a noble 
dignity to a manifest absurdity and folly, have been the theories which have 
inspired and beguiled companies of men and women for the disposing .of 
themselves in communities with security, prosperity, and happiness. To say 
nothing of those which have been only set forth in theory and in imagina- 
tion, like Plato's Republic, More's Utopia, and Harrington's Oceana, we find 
enough of them that have been put on trial, from that of the Essenes to that 
of the Mormons, with all -that have been in actual experiment between 

1 [John Cotton had drawn up a code on the years has put us in easy possession of their early 
pattern of " Moses his Judicials " in 1636, which laws. Professor Joel Parker has made their re- 
was not adopted ; but it was printed in London ligious legislation the subject of a lecture, which 
in 1641, reprinted in 1655, again in Hutchinson's is printed in the Lowell Lectures on Massachu- 
Collections, p. 161, and in Mass. Hist. Coll, v. 173. setts and its Early History. The abstract of the 
The first code adopted was the "Body of Lib- early laws which was printed in 1641 (copy in 
erties," drawn up in 1638 by Nathaniel Ward, Harvard College Library) has been reprinted 
which became authorized in Dec. 1641. Nine- in Force's Tracts, ii. Professor Washburn's 
teen MS. copies were distributed to the towns. Judicial History of Massachusetts will serve as 
None were printed. No copy of this was known a commentary. A statement of the early edi- 
till, about sixty years ago, a manuscript of it tions of the Massachusetts laws is in the 
was discovered in the Boston Athenasum, and Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc. ii. 576. Of the earliest 
in 1843 it was printed in the 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. printed edition, 1648, no copy is known. A few 
viii. 216, with an introduction by Francis C. copies remain of the second edition, dated 
Gray. Cf. Poole's introduction to Johnson's 1660. See Mr. Winthrop's chapter. ED. | 
Wonder-working Providence of Zioifs Saviour, ' 2 [The most flagrant disregard of these con- 
and Historical Magazine, February, 1868. Barry, ditious has brought a great deal of censure upon 
Hist, of Mass. \. 276, instances, as significant of the Peter Oliver's Puritan Commonwealth in Mas- 
really mild sway of New England Puritanism for sachusells, Boston, 1856. Palfrey says it might 
the times, that the '* Body of Liberties "contained well have been written by a chaplain of James 
but twelve offences punishable by death, while II. Hildreth, in his History of the United 
one hundred and fifty were so treated in Eng- Stales, rather allows their faults to overshadow 
land. The printing of the colony records of late their virtues. ED.] 
VOL. I. 19. 


them, to furnish us with sufficient illustrations of the ingenuity, the fertil- 
ity, the eccentricity of human inventiveness in this direction. In view of all 
these human devices, exercised in schemes for reconstituting and amending 
the social state, whether having reference solely to mundane objects or 
fashioned by faith or superstition for religious ends, it is not at all strange 
that the basis of a commonwealth on a theocracy or the Bible, such as was 
attempted here, should, in the developments of time and circumstances, have 
had its turn for a practical trial. Compared with many other of the vision- 
ary schemes of men, it has qualities august in nobleness and dignity. In 
accordance with this view, a considerate study of the better side and aspects 
of the Puritan scheme can hardly fail to impress us with a sense of the pro- 
found and enthralling earnestness, the thorough and intense sincerity, of the 
master spirits of the enterprise. There is something indeed that we may 
describe as awful in this their earnestness, the literal closeness and entireness 
of their religious believings, their unfaltering convictions as to their duty, and 
their purpose to perform it. Now, it is to this full persuasion and intense 
earnestness of the founders of the Puritan Commonwealth that we may trace 
the occasion of their failure, and incidentally of the errors and wrongs into 
which their policy, legislation, and, so to speak, their consciences, consist- 
ently as they thought, but none the less fatally, led them. And to the same 
cause we are also to refer much that is uncharitable, unfair, and wholly un- 
just in the contemptuous criticism and severity of censure and ridicule which 
have been visited upon the Puritans in these modern times. 

The theocratic principles of these leading Puritans, and the legislative, 
social, and religious enforcement of them, were vitally dependent upon a 
form of belief and a rule of living which required perfect individual con- 
viction, and which could not be transferred or imposed upon such as rightly 
or wrongfully failed to share that conviction. Oppression and intolerance 
of all their associates who were outside of their covenant, however other- 
wise concerned for the common security and prosperity, as we shall soon see, 
were inextricably involved with in fact were the natural and necessary 
results of the Puritan administration. The attempt of the most earnest and 
austere of the leaders to enforce their own principles upon their servants 
and others and indeed upon such of their own chosen fellowship as might 
falter or seem lukewarm in their constancy led to manifest injustice, to 
bigotry, and to cruelty. And this same earnestness and consequent sever- 
ity of the leaders furnish the occasion of much of the harshness of judg- 
ment, the scorn, contempt, and ridicule that have been visited upon them. 
Not so much by any individual attainments of our own, but by our share in 
a general enlightenment and enfranchisement, it has come about that what 
to those Puritan legislators were the most august and solemn realities of 
belief and conviction are to us the merest superstitions and bugbears. 
Their harshness, bigotry, and intolerance were the results of what we re- 
gard as their false beliefs, their absurd credulity, their conceit that they 
were " God's elect." Yet their sincerity in their prejudices, convictions, 


and delusions does not avail with all who criticise or judge them to relieve 
one whit the limitation of the wisdom of the Puritans, or to palliate the 
odiousness of their principles when put to trial. 

The enterprise of transplanting themselves and establishing a colony in 
the wilderness involved most grave and exacting conditions. It was costly, 
and beset by many contingencies and risks. It required all the previous 
forecast of calculating wisdom, a cautious apprehension of possible dis- 
comfitures, and a prudent watchfulness against external and internal foes. 
They had before them for warning the disastrous failure of like enterprises 
at Virginia, St. Christopher's, Newfoundland, and on the coast of Maine, with 
only at that time the qualified success of the poor settlement at Plymouth. 
Encouragement and security in any like experiment could be looked for only 
by a watchful caution against the ill agencies which had wrecked all pre- 
vious ones. The master motive in the minds of the leaders here those 
who embarked all their estates and prospects in life in the undertaking is 
admitted to have been a profoundly religious one, however qualified by its 
elements and limitations that type of religion may have been. But this 
religious intent was necessarily dependent upon financial or commercial 
conditions and accessories. It is to be admitted that only the minority of 
those who came in the first fleet, and who arrived in increasing numbers for 
the next score of years, were primarily drawn hither by that master motive 
of zeal in their peculiar type of religion. Only the minority, too, from the 
first and onwards, embarked their whole worldly substance and their life- 
resolve and constancy in the enterprise. 

At the meeting of the company in England in which it was resolved to 
transfer the charter and to set up its local administration here, the religious 
motive prevailed over merely mercantile or thrifty objects, though the latter 
were recognized in their place. At that point the enterprise was in the 
hands, at the charges, and in the direction of its religious leaders. The 
security and success of the colony would depend primarily upon the condi- 
tion that these leaders should be intelligent, educated, and upright men, 
thoroughly conscientious and high-minded, sincerely devout, and seeking 
ends of public good. These prime conditions would ensure the judi- 
cious exercise of the power which rightfully belonged to them, and would 
qualify the ill consequences of any arbitrary stretch of it. That these con- 
ditions were in the main generously and nobly met stands triumphantly 
certified in the fact that though there were many impediments, mistakes, 
and discomfitures, many incidental grievances and wrongs, the experiment 
was never abandoned. No crisis in its trial compelled any radical changes 
in it, except such as could be allowed without revolution, as in the time and 
circumstances of them necessary and wise; and the success of it stands 
to-day a demonstration to the world. 

But these leaders, being the few, needed associates and helpers. Servants, 
" laborers, miners, and engineers," as the record reads, must be engaged, 
still at the charge of the responsible projectors and the pecuniary resources 
of the company. 


Thomas Foxcroft, the minister of the First Church in Boston, in a ser- 
mon preached by him on the first centennial of the settlement, speaks thus 
of the founders : " The initial generation of New England was very much 
a select and a puritanical people in the proper sense of the word. They 
were not (as to the body of them) a promiscuous and heterogeneous assem- 
blage, but in general of a uniform character, agreeing in the most excellent 
qualities, principles, and tempers ; Christians very much of the primitive 
stamp. As one of our worthies of the second generation l has aptly ex- 
pressed it, ' God sifted a whole nation that he might send a choice grain 
over into this wilderness.' It was as little of a mixed generation, in regard 
of their moral character and religious profession, that came over first to 
New England, as perhaps was ever known in the earth. They were very 
much a chosen generation, collected from a variety of places, and by a 
strange conduct of Divine Providence agreeing in the same enterprise, to 
form a plantation for religion in this distant part of the world. Scarce 
any of a profane character mingled themselves with the first-comers ; and 
of those that came hither upon secular views, some were disheartened by 
the toils and difficulties they met with and soon returned, and others, finding 
this reformed climate disagreeable to their vitiated inclinations, took thc-ir 
speedy flight away. The body of the first-comers were men in their middle 
age or declining days, who had been inured to sufferings for righteousness' 
sake." Foxcroft adds, of his own time, "We are now become a very mixt 
generation; and may I not add, in consequence thereof, an apostate one? " 

The question naturally presents itself, as to what were the measures or 
safeguards by which the leaders of the colony, its proprietors and officers, 
sought to protect themselves and their scheme against the intrusion, the 
intermeddling, or the opposition of uncongenial and mischievous associates 
or interlopers? They were eager to obtain renewing and reinforcing emi- 
grants. Indeed, it was essential that they should do so. But how did they 
plan to guard themselves against the wrong sort of comers? Circumstances 
favored them in this respect better than any protective measures which 
they did or could enforce. It is understood that the Corporation held the 
absolute proprietary right to all the territory covered by their patent, and 
could also fix the conditions on which new members, freemen, could be 
admitted to the company, whose votes and action would afterwards imperil 
or secure all that depended upon that proprietary right. When the Cor- 
poration, through its Court, afterwards disposed of parcels of its land to in- 
dividuals or to townships, it still held, by the right of taxation, a sovereignty 
over the territory. They found in their Charter this assured privilege or 
authority for protecting themselves against all unwelcome or dangerous 
persons "That it shall and may be lawful to and for y e cheife com- 
manders, governors, &c., of y e said company, resident in y e said part of 
New England, for their special defence and safety, to incounter, expulse, 
repell, and resist by force of armes, as well by sea as by lande, and by all fit- 

1 Mr. Stoughton, in his Election Sermon. 



ting waies and meanes whatsoever, all such person and persons as shall at 
any time hereafter attempt or enterprise y e destruction, invasion, detriment, 
or annoyance to y e said plantation or inhabitant." The authorities, in 
their wisdom, interpreted this positive charter privilege as empowering them 
to order and banish from their territory any one whose presence in it was 
not desirable to them. They availed themselves of it from the moment of the 
-first sitting of their Court, and proceeded to clear the place of all the squat- 
ters, scattered settlers, " old planters," and remnants of former companies of 
adventurers, who were judged " unmeet to inhabit in this jurisdiction." 

Still, there was from the first, from the stress of necessity, a door left 
open by which many persons but in partial sympathy with the aims of the 
Company, and some secretly or avowedly hostile to it, came in among them. 
It was essential to the unimpeded success of the Puritan Commonwealth, its 
firm basis, its fair development, its peace and security, that those who con- 
stituted it should be in accord and harmony, their loyalty to and love of 
it being assured by their "piety," the piety of the Puritan pattern and 
spirit. It does not appear that the authorities were sufficiently rigid and 
watchful in imposing restrictions to an entrance upon their territory, such as 
would keep out mere adventurers, restless, discontented, and mischievous 
intruders. So they had to deal with such persons after they had more or 
less secured a hold by their presence and self-assertion. This was the first 
occasion of annoyance to them ; and the measures to which they had recourse 
were such as gradually, under the workings of human nature, involved 
severity, bitterness, cruelty, and matured into what we regard as their in- 
tolerant and persecuting spirit. It was quite far from their intent to offer 
a freehold or asylum for all sorts of unsettled, whimsical, and crotchety 
spirits. Yet a rare variety of such came in upon them. The Planter's Plea 1 
made the following somewhat generous, but still guarded invitation as to the 
sort of persons needed for the colony: " Good Governours, able Ministers, 
Physitians, Souldiers, Schoolemasters, Mariners, and Mechanicks of all sorts." 
Men free of ill humours " ought to be willing, constant, industrious, obedient, 
frugall, lovers of the common good, or at least such as may be easily 
wrought to this temper." It cannot be expected that all should be such, 
" but care must be had that y e principalls be so inclined. . . . Mutinies, 
which one person may kindle, are well nigh as dangerous in a Colony, as in 
an Armie. . . . Governours and Ministers, especially in New England, must 
be of piety and blameless life as patterns to y e Heathens." Had the 
authorities of Massachusetts known what trouble they were to have from 
Roger Williams, they might from the first have declined to receive him ; for 
he was not one of those concerned in the enterprise, nor a freeman of the 
Company. They did not invite him here; but the way was free to him, 
and he came. It was the attempt of the most earnest and austere of the 

1 [This rare tract of John White's, printed the Brinley Catalogue, Nos. 373, 2,704), is re- 
in 1630 (of which Mr. Deane has a copy, and printed in Force's Tracts, ii., and in part in 
another is in the Lenox Library, and two are in Young's Chronicles of Mass. ED.] 


authorities to enforce their principles and standards and tests upon their 
servants and others, and upon such of their own choicer fellowship as 
showed lukcwarmness, or a failing " godliness," that heightened bigotry and 
prompted all degrees of harshness. 

This seems to be the fitting place to notice, by anticipation, the measure 
to which the legislators here had so soon a recourse in restricting the fran- 
chise to " Church-Members." In the lack of, or in the doubtful efficacy, 
of other securities, their first reliance was upon this. As has been already 
stated, their charter left them at full liberty to define the conditions on which, 
by making new members " freemen," they should admit to the company 
those who, as voters and candidates for office among them, should thus 
accede to influence and authority in disposing their affairs, their proprietary 
rights, and property. Our modern democracy makes quite easy the terms 
for the naturalization among us of foreigners who cast in their lot here, and 
who soon acquire the right to vote and to ask votes for themselves in all 
matters concerning our institutions and the property of the community. 
The franchise, on those easy terms, would have wrecked our colonial enter- 
prise jn its very start. It would soon have numbered among its full partners 
a heterogeneous multitude who would have had little idea of what " the pub- 
lic good " required, and less ability and will to labor and suffer for it. Se- 
dition, dissension, the strong assertion of individual variances of judgment 
believed to endanger the fabric of government or to provoke a party spirit, 
were evils which they had most reason to apprehend, and against these the 
leaders were most anxious to protect their enterprise, especially in its stage 
of uncertainty and peril. They would naturally, therefore, seek to hold new 
partners by some solemn pledge of fidelity, and to put this pledge into 
terms by which they might ever after challenge those who had voluntarily 
entered into it. So the condition on which they granted the franchise was 
not one dependent upon social rank, nor upon pecuniary means, but upon 
hearty sympathy and accord in the religious intent of the enterprise, that 
which consecrated it and, as they believed, could alone insure its success. 
They required that all who wished to share the civil franchise with them 
should enter into covenant with one of their churches. This rigid Puritan 
restriction of full civil rights to " church members " has furnished the oc- 
casion of the sharpest censure and reproach against those who imposed 
the condition. Waiving for a moment the rightfulness or expediency of 
the condition, it is enough to say that, having in view the chief intent of the 
founders of the Puritan Commonwealth, they would have stultified them- 
selves and confounded their scheme had they failed to impose it. There 
was no alternative open to them. Nor can the ingenuity of any censor of 
theirs in our own days propose any other condition of the franchise which 
would consist with the model of a Theocracy. None the less, however, the 
condition proved on trial to work simply results of gross injustice and 
various forms of mischief and trouble. It was especially faulty and vicious 
in each of two evil consequences. First, the condition excluded from the 


full rights of citizens a steadily increasing number of excellent, upright, and 
conscientious persons, who, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, could not 
and would not come into covenant relations with a church by the prescribed 
methods. Either lack of belief, or self-distrust, or scruples of conscience, 
restrained them from subjecting themselves to the ordeal of standing before 
a mixed congregation and revealing their innermost religious exercises and 
experience, with a profession that they had reached a certain stage in their 
conviction, and would henceforward put themselves under the watch and 
ward of the men and women under covenant. But as a second ill-working 
of this condition, while it excluded from citizenship some of the best persons, 
it afforded no adequate security against the inclusion of the worst. A hypo- 
crite might easily pass the ordeal under the lure of the. consideration and 
privilege of which it was made the condition. One of the earliest and one 
of the most vexatious causes of strife and complaint, and a whole series of 
perplexities and embarrassments relieved only by the positive demand of 
Charles II. for the free allowance of the franchise, came from the imposition 
of this covenant condition. Persons who challenged scrutiny for the recti- 
tude of their characters and lives in vain petitioned for the rights of citizen- 
ship, as they shared all the public burdens. As the rite of baptism was 
allowed only to the children of parents who were under covenant, there was 
soon a generation of those born on the soil who neither were baptized 
themselves nor could obtain baptism for their children. The question be- 
came to them a pertinent one, whether they were Christians or Heathen. 
Such then was the quandary in which the Puritan leaders found themselves. 
To yield the franchise to the " uncovenanted " and the " unregenerate " was 
to subvert their Theocracy. To enforce the covenant condition was to risk 
the sure ruin of their Commonwealth. 

These preliminary suggestions, which present the aims and purposes of 
the responsible leaders in the enterprise that planted the town of Boston, 
the germ of the State, have been here advanced as setting forth that enter- 
prise, the spirit and the method of it, as it reveals itself to us in the retro- 
spect of history, with more of clearness and fulness than may have been 
enjoyed by those who planned and guided it. The writer of these pages, 
from as thorough a study of the original sources of information in our 
colonial history as was within his reach, has become convinced that a deep 
religious design in the purpose of the leaders is the key to the enterprise. 
We have to trace the process one of arbitrary acts on the part of the 
leaders, and of obstructions and arrests on the side of opponents who stood 
for a more lawful authority by which, through the temporary experi- 
ment of the Puritan Commonwealth, the corporation of the Massachusetts 
Bay Company became, by anticipation, the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts. Our starting point is from the obvious and undeniable fact that the 
charter was made to serve a use for which it was not designed or intended. 1 

1 [Cf. Joel Parker's lecture on the charter the Lowell Lectures, Massachusetts and its Early 
and religious legislation in Massachusetts, in History. ED.] 


Whatever, then, was found necessary, by forced construction, adaptation, or 
supplementary provisions, to fit it for the purposes to which it was turned, 
involved, of course, trespass, disloyalty, and a breach of law. The charter 
was in this way perverted as a basis and medium for all such acts and 
measures and stretch of authority as it was made to sanction. Notwith- 
standing this, and the fact that the astute leaders must have been perfectly 
well aware that they had, so to speak, stolen a march upon their monarch by 
the transfer of the charter, and by the setting up, under their way of constru- 
ing it, such a government as they instituted here, they still clung to that char- 
ter, and professed to find in it their sufficient warrant. They seem to have per- 
suaded themselves indeed they boldly insisted that there was a pledge 
and potency in a quality which it derived from its seal of royalty, its kingly 
grace and covenant, that neutralized, or at least was not invalidated by, any 
strain or stretch of use of which, as they pleaded, they had found it abso- 
lutely necessary to avail themselves. The Chancery process, which in 1684 
vacated and revoked the charter, was a decisive judgment of the authori- 
ties at home that the charter had been unlawfully perverted. This, how- 
ever, was only a final and effectual disposal of a controversy which had been 
from the first continuously in agitation. As soon as the royal councillors 
had knowledge of what was going on here under the assumed authority of 
the charter, a commission was instituted for examining and recalling it. 
More and more inquisitive and stringent measures by royal mandate and by 
later commissioners followed up the same attempt to bring the recusant 
Massachusetts legislators to a reckoning. Yet they still insisted upon that 
transcendent royal quality in the pledge of their patent just referred to. 
And they might well heighten its value to them by the plea, which they more 
and more cogently and even piteously urged, about the sincerity of their 
reliance upon the royal covenant in the stern enterprise of coming over as 
" a poor distressed flock " into a desolate wilderness, at their own charges, 
among brute men and wild beasts, to found a civil State, and " to extend the 
bounds of the Gospel." It is evident, also, that the more of added value 
they had with pains and toil put into the venture, the more cogent would be 
their plea that the original covenant of their enterprise should hold inviola- 
ble. Nothing but the all-engrossing troubles and convulsions of the mother 
country, and the sympathy of the temporary Puritan Parliament and Pro- 
tectorate of Cromwell, would have availed, however, to secure to the exiles 
in Massachusetts time and opportunity for the rooting of their enterprise 
under the first charter. Whoever chooses by curious study to inform him- 
self of all the particulars incident to this lively episode in our history, about 
the challenging of the charter and the struggle to keep it, will find the story 
at least an entertaining one. He will find much that he may appreciate in the 
resolute, sturdy pluck and defiant obstinacy of the Puritan magistracy ; and 
he must be left free to form his own judgment of the casuistry and the strat- 
egy, and to use plain words the artifice and adroit trickery by which the 
charter administration was maintained till the catastrophe of its fall ; while 


the instrument itself was never wrenched away to cross the ocean on its 
return, but still hangs with its royal seal attached in the office of the Secretary 
of the Commonwealth. The King himself had no power, nor could he by 
prerogative have usurped or exercised it, to confer by charter on any sect 
or party of his subjects such an independency and such legislative functions 
as were actually assumed by the corporation of Massachusetts Bay when 
transferred here. Having transported themselves with their charter, the 
leaders of the enterprise seem to have taken for granted that they might 
extend and supplement their rightful authority under it so as to adjust it to 
the change of place and circumstances. 1 

It is, however, a curious fact, having a significance which each reader 
is at liberty to assign to it, that whatever may have been, consciously or 
unconsciously, the intent of the leaders of the Boston colony as to the 
setting up in Church and State an original and arbitrary pattern of their 
own, what they actually wrought out of this sort had been suspected of 
them and charged upon them as their real but covert design before their 
feet rested on the new territory for their experiment. Some persons in 
England whose attention had been drawn to the project before it was 
effected, and who were more or less informed of its preliminary measures, 
had expressed jealous misgivings lest the prime movers had secretly in 
view the actual scheme of separation and faction which was soon realized 
here. The anonymous Planter's Plea, written by that stanch friend and pro- 
moter of the enterprise, the patriarch and vicar of Dorchester, John White, 
was published in London in 1630, after Endicott had been heard from at 
Salem, and while Winthrop's company was on the ocean. One of the 
" objections " to the enterprise, which Mr. White tries to set aside, is thus 
expressed : " That religion indeede and y e colour thereof is y e cloake of 
this work, but under it is secretly harboured faction and separation from y e 
Church. Men of ill affected mindes (some conceive), unwilling to join any 
longer with our assemblies, meane to draw themselves apart, and to unite 
into a body of their owne, and to make that place a nursery of faction and 
rebellion, disclaiming and renouncing our Church as a limbe of Antichrist." 
This objection Mr. White meets by referring to the affectionate and tender 
parting address of the governor and his associates, to " their dear mother, 
y e Church of England," and to the known "carriage of these persons in 
their owne country in former times, as not men of turbulent or factious dis- 
positions, impatient of y e present government, who have separated from our 
Assemblies, refused our Ministery, &c. . . . And yet, if some one or two, or 
ten of them should be factiously inclined, it were hard measure to condemn 
a whole Society, &c. ... I persuade myself there is no one Separatist knowne 
unto y e Governours, or if there be any, that it is as far from their purpose 
as it is from their safety to continue him among them." Yet the candid 
pleader, doubtless well knowing more than he cared to communicate, adds, 

1 [The struggle to maintain the charter is more particularly explained by Mr. Deane in 
another chapter. ED.] 
VOL. I. 20. 


" I conceive we doe and ought to put a great difference between Separa- 
tion and Non-Conformity. There is great oddes between peaceable men, 
who out of tendernesse of heart forbeare y e use of some ceremonies of y e 
Church, and men of fiery and turbulent spirits that walke in a crosse way 
out of distemper of minde. I should be very unwilling to hide anything I 
think might be fit to discover y e uttermost of y e intentions of our Planters, 
and therefore shall make bold to manifest not only what I know, but what 
I guesse concerning their purpose." Necessity, novelty, love of gain may 
draw some, " but that y e most and most sincere and godly part have 
y e advancement of y- Gospel for their main scope I am confident. 
That of them some may entertain hope and expectation of enjoying greater 
libertie there than here in y e use of some orders and Ceremonies of our 
Church, it seemes very probable. Nay, I see not how we can expect from 
them a correspondence in all things to our State, civill or Ecclesiasticall. 
Wants and necessities cannot but cause many changes. But y e men are far 
enough from projecting the erecting of this Colony for a Nursery of Schis- 
matickes" Mr. White concludes " that y e suspicious and scandalous reports 
raysed upon these gentlemen and their friends (as if under y e colour of 
planting a Colony they intended to rayse and erect a seminary of faction and 
separation) are nothing else but y e fruits of jealousie of some distempered 
minde, &c." It is admitted that the wise and good of the company would 
naturally be followed "by a mixed multitude, as were y children of Israel 
out of Egypt;" and Mr. White forebodes that such " would prove refractory 
to Government, expecting all libertie in an unsettled body," and that the 
restraint of authority would cross their discontented humors, so that they 
would revenge themselves by being " ready to blemish y e Government with 
such scandalous reports as their malicious spirits can devise and utter." 
He anticipates that such will return or be sent back to England, revengeful 
and malignant with ill reports ; and he asks that they be not listened to till 
the authorities in New England shall send home true information. 

These frank pleadings, disclosures, and anticipations, made public while 
the adventuring company with whose motives, plans, and fortunes they were 
concerned were on their ocean passage, are certainly very noteworthy. 
Had Mr. White deferred writing till the experiment had been on practical 
trial for ten or twenty years, he could not better have described its real 
working as to the separation effected, the "novelties" reduced to practice, 
and the complaints carried back to England, which he endeavored to deal 
with by anticipation. It is needless to ask by what prescience or " jealousie " 
some in England found occasion to advance the objections, which proved to 
be so well grounded, to the schemes of the planters. Doubtless it was in 
part from some shrewd observation of the spirits and. inclinations of the 
prime movers in the enterprise, and in part from inferences drawn from the 
characteristics of the previous similar experiments at Plymouth. 

The zealous pleading of the good patriarch White in his anticipatory 
defence of the colonists then on their passage to the Bay, taken in connec- 


tion with the fact that on their arrival they immediately pursued the course 
the suspicion and intent of which he so boldly repudiated, present to read- 
ers of this generation a curious theme on which they are at liberty to exer- 
cise their own judgment as to the integrity or crookedness of the leaders 
of the enterprise. Sharp censures have been pronounced upon them, in- 
volving the imputation of gross hypocrisy in their tender and yearning ad- 
dress from the deck of their vessel as they left the shores of their native 
land. In this they said : " We esteem it our honor to call the Church of Eng- 
land, from whence we rise, our dear mother, and cannot part from our native 
country where she specially resideth, without much sadness of heart and 
many tears in our eyes, ever acknowledging that such hope and part as we 
have obtained in y e common salvation, we have received in her bosom and 
sucked it from her breasts." They ask the prayers of their brethren, and 
promise their own for them, " wishing our heads and hearts may be as 
fountains of tears for your everlasting welfare when we shall be in our poor 
cottages in the wilderness, &c." What then, it is asked, is to be said of 
the high-minded sincerity of men who, after uttering this pathetic strain, 
proceeded at once to lay the foundations in separation and schism of the 
Puritan Commonwealth? Something, doubtless, might be urged on their 
side by any one who should assume their defence or championship. What 
was to them the Church of England? It represented to them a lineage and 
communion of discipleship, in an organized institution, then in process of ref- 
ormation and purification from its late corruption under Popery. They had 
had part in zeal and suffering in advancing that needful reforming work to 
the stage which it had reached. For themselves, they hoped and expected 
that the purifying work would go on, as they believed there was need of it. 
They had a common interest in its membership. They had no idea that they 
were about to heathenize themselves by passing the ocean to another shore. 
They ever after maintained that they were seeking to advance an arrested 
process of reformation. They soon found that this involved for them sep- 
aration, which none the less they regarded as an enforced exclusion. When 
on the first year after the planting of their church in Boston they invited 
Roger Williams to be their teacher, the demand which he made on them 
as a condition of his acceptance, that they should renounce communion 
with the Church of England, met their decided refusal. And, further, 
any one who assumes their defence might proceed to urge that they de- 
parted only from the discipline of the Church of England, not at all from 
its doctrine; that changes in the mode of institution and discipline were 
inevitable, to meet the circumstances and exigences of their wilderness con- 
dition ; that they had the example of the mother country to justify the 
connection of Church and State, and that they simply followed the leadings 
of Providence and the teaching of the Bible in adjusting their policy. 

We proceed now to trace the development of that policy in the organi- 
zation of the Puritan Commonwealth. The written charter was made its 
basis, but the limitations and deficiencies which at once showed that it was 


to be put to uses not intended or provided for were recognized only to 
be neutralized by such devices as seemed necessary or available. By that 
charter a governor, deputy-governor, and eighteen assistants were annu- 
ally to be chosen out of their own number by all who, as " freemen," had 
the franchise in the Company. Any seven of the Assistants, with either the 
Governor or the Deputy, meeting once a month, made a quorum, as an 
executive, for the transaction of business. Four Great or General Courts 
were to be held annually, to elect and commission the officers and to vote 
upon the admission of new members, or " freemen." As soon as the com- 
pany was established here, the Assistants obtained a unanimous vote allow- 
ing them to choose the Governor and Deputy out of their own body; but 
when the Assistants were to be chosen, all the freemen were electors. In- 
stead of the full number of eighteen, only eleven or twelve of the Assistants 
came over, and the number was never afterwards filled up. The Assistants 
soon assumed the name of " Magistrates," with all the requisite and im- 
plied functions. They quietly kept their office, without re-election, for 
two years, and made the first laws for the colony. In the first year one 
hundred new freemen, many of them not members of a church, took the 
prescribed oath. But in 1631 church membership was made a condition 
of the franchise. It may be noted here, that as late as 1676 five-sixths of 
the men in the colony were non-voters, because not church members. In 
1632 the freemen insisted on and secured their right to choose the Governor 
and Deputy ; and the " Magistrates " so graciously, though grimly, yielded 
the point that they were re-chosen. 

The wide scattering of the colonists into different settlements helped for 
a while the centralization of power. As it became inconvenient for all the 
freemen to assemble at the courts, each local settlement, the nucleus of a 
town, delegated two persons to represent it. Meeting in Boston in 1634, 
these Deputies, early watchful against arbitrary power, demanded " a sight 
of the patent," and then, seeming for the first time to come to a full knowl- 
edge of their rights, they " confronted " the Governor. After parrying their 
complaints, he told them that so large a number of freemen in the com- 
pany had not been anticipated ; that their numbers and lack of qualifications 
unfitted them for making laws ; but that at the next Court some of them, 
summoned by the Governor, might come and judge of the taxes and revise 
the laws, though they could make no new ones, but might submit their 
grievances to the magistrates. 

The next month, May, 1634, twenty-four principal inhabitants appeared 
in Boston as representatives of the people, and disrupted the arbitrary 
exercise of power, and by exercising their deputed authority through the 
rights recognized in the Charter, they chose, as a new Governor, Thomas 
Dudley. They gained the point that the whole body of freemen should 
attend at the General Election, while being represented by their deputies at 
the three other Courts. The vigorous struggle in the next year was be- 
tween those who stood respectively for " strict discipline " or for lenity in 



the management of " infant plantations." The decision was in favor of 
the rigid party. The Assistants or magistrates, in their tenacity of pur- 
pose to maintain an almost exclusive authority in disposing each successive 
measure which the expanding interests and the needful protection of their 
enterprise seemed to make essential, acted on the assumption that they had 

the same governing power over all their associates and subordinates on the 
spot as they would have had if they had been exercising their administrative 
rights in England over the employes which they had sent here. Up to 
1644 the magistrates and the deputies of the people, meeting together, had 

1 [The death of Cotton, near the end of 1652, 
was, after the death of Winthrop, the loss that 
most closely affected the town. The superstition 
of the day found alarming portents in the hea- 
vens while his body lay ready for burial. Nor- 
ton, Life and Death of Cotton, reissued with notes 
by Enoch Pond in 1834; Samuel Clarke, Lives 
of Ten Eminent Divines, London, 1662 ; Ma- 

ther, Magnalia ; Emerson, First Church ; Snow, 
Boston, p. 133. Cotton's house stood not far 
from the southerly corner of Tremont Street 
and the entrance to Pemberton Square. The 
estate ran back up the hill. Vane lived on it 
two years, and, at a later day, Judge Sewall. 
A portrait, said to be of Cotton, from which our 
cut is taken, belonged to the late John Eliot 


acted jointly. In that year, as the result of another severe struggle as to 
the people's right to a negative voice, it was decided that each branch 
should meet by itself, and that a concurrent vote should be requisite in legis- 
lation. This was another stage in the process by which the business man- 
agement of a mercantile corporation was transformed into an administration 
leading on to the constitutional provisions of our existing Commonwealth. 
It was obvious from the first that the reduction of the paramount authority 
of the magistrates, or even the participation in it to any great extent by the 
people at large, would imperil the rigid principles of Puritanism, so far as 
they were relied upon for bringing civil affairs under the absolute sway of 
the Church. It is observable that in all their pleas on their own behalf the 
magistrates emphasize their religious motives. 

Incidental to, or we should rather say as a most needful and vital ele- 
ment of, the fundamentals of the Puritan theocratic Commonwealth, was the 
habit of appealing to and of relying upon the ministers of the churches for 
advice and guidance, outside of their own special functions. The clergy 
constituted, so to speak, a body of spiritual peers in the Puritan parliament, 
only they had relatively a far more exalted and stringent professional influ- 
ence than has been yielded to the bishops of the English realm since the era 
of the Reformation. " The reverend elders " " our brethren the elders " 
constituted a body which, either in consultation by themselves or as called 
into the meetings of the Court, was appealed to for counsel and advice on 
all perplexed or critical matters. As pastors of the churches, whose mem- 
bers alone exercised the franchise, they would have had their full share of 
influence in preaching from their pulpits, and in their disciplinary visits 
from house to house. That they should have been recognized as jointly com- 
posing a fellowship qualified and entitled to have referred to them, impliedly 
for ultimate disposal, matters upon which the civil rulers were divided in 
judgment, is certainly the most significant token of the identity between the 
Puritan Church and State. It would have been consistently within the range 
of their clerical functions if questions of casuistry in religion, or of the inter- 
pretation and explication of Bible texts by whose guidance the people were 
generally disposed to be directed, were referred to them. But such ques- 
tions as the interpretation of the Charter, and how the continual attempts of 
the authorities at home to subvert and reclaim the administration set up 
under it were to be parried and thwarted, could be regarded as of fit refer- 
ence to a clerical body only under a theocracy. But these and like questions, 

Thayer, Esq., and now hangs in the residence of the old St. Botolph's Church in Boston, Lin- 

of the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop at Brookline. colnshire, where Cotton preached before his 

Mr. Thayer, who was a descendant of Cotton, coming to America, was restored some years 

bought it more than twenty years ago, but I since, and a memorial tablet was erected in it 

have not been able to learn its previous history, to Cotton's memory, with a Latin inscription by 

It was first engraved, on steel, in Drake's Boston. Mr. Everett. The list of subscribers is given in 

The Cotton genealogy is given in the N. E. the N. E. Hist, and Cental. Reg., January, 1874, 

Hist, and Geneal. Reg. i. 164; also an account p. 15. A paper on Boston, England, and Cot- 

of his ancestry in the Heraldic Journal, iv. 49, ton's career there, by the Rev. G. B. Blenkin, 

and a tabular pedigree in Drake's Boston. By Vicar of Boston, is in the N. E. Hist, and Geneal. 

the care of Edward Everett and others, a chapel Reg., April, 1874. ED. | 


which we should regard as strictly secular and related to civil polity, were 
seldom disposed of, in the first three decades of the Colony, till " our 
honored Magistrates," or " the Court," had sought the advice of the 
" reverend elders." In fact, John Cotton, in discourses at the Thursday 
Lecture, was ever ready, not only to give decided counsels on secular mat- 
ters when his advice was asked, but, when some critical point was in 
contest before the Court, he would adjudicate on the subject, ostensibly 
of course, through his " exposition of the word of God." 

The early stages of the conflict between the magistrates for retaining 
their own legitimate and their constructive and usurped authority, on the 
one side, and the inhabitants at large on the other, tended in many inci- 
dental matters to unite the non-voters with the freemen as an opposing 
party. So far, however, as this union was effective, it would prejudice the 
theocratical principles of the government. The records of the Court and 
many of the contemporary documents that are now extant reveal to us the 
fevered state of anxiety and agitation which grave questionings and sharp 
bickerings induced. Nor is it strange that there should have very soon 
begun a weeding-out process, not only in the forced exclusion of those 
whose presence proved objectionable, but in the voluntary withdrawal of 
others who conceived a strong distaste or disgust for the atmosphere and 
influences of the place. Some of these last are referred to in that very 
interesting pamphlet published in London as early as 1643, entitled New 
England's First Fruits^ While the general account of prosperity and 
hopefulness in these pages is almost roseate, we read the following: "As 
some went thither upon sudden undigested grounds, and saw not God's 
leading them in their way, but were carried by an unstayed spirit, so 
have they returned upon as sleight, headlesse, unworthy reasons as they 
went. Others must have elbow-roome, and cannot abide to be so pinioned 
with the strict government in the Commonwealth, or discipline in the* 
Church." Very tersely and aptly did one of the wiser of the Puritan 
company express the fervid working of the enterprise, in writing the brief 
sentence, " While the liquor is boiling, it must needs have a scumming." 
When we come to take note of the rigid proceedings of the Puritan legisla- 
tors against those who " disturbed their peace," we shall have to recognize 
the fact, which to a moderate extent may be taken as palliating their harsh- 
ness, that the victims of it were not members of their company, partners 
and freemen of the Commonwealth, but were, with rare exceptions, intruders 
among them, who themselves had nothing at stake in the enterprise. 

But little more than ten years had passed since the settlement of Boston 
and of the towns which were offshoots from it, before the Colony, in all the 
elements that constituted it, and in all its prospects for the future, passed 
through some experiences of gloom and darkness, the dismal impression 

1 [This tract is reprinted in Mass. Hist. Coll. original edition is rare, but there are copies in 
i., and there is a separate modern reprint by the Harvard College Library and in the Prince 
Sabin, published in New York in 1865. The Library. ED.] 


from which is most vividly presented on the pages of Winthrop. Though 
he nobly held to his constancy of purpose through the trying experience, 
it is evident that his hope faltered under the apprehension of the threatened 
failure and abandonment of the Colonial enterprise. It was not, however, 
mainly from the dissensions and discontents that had been developed 
among the struggling exiles here, but rather from the agitations and revolu- 
tionary throes of the mother country at that critical period, that Winthrop 
was compelled to face the appalling disaster to the fond venture in which he 
had staked his all. The tyrant monarch of England was at bay ; his subjects 
were winning the mastery over him ; the Parliament was above the throne ; 
and a work was brewing in which not only some restless spirits, but some 
heroic and earnest men who were fired by a holy and generous ardor, wished 
to have a part. Old England was then more attractive to such as these, 
than even the new Commonwealth rising in the free wilderness. The tide 
of immigration, which up to that time had set strongly hitherwards, was at 
once stayed. 1 There was almost a tidal wave of return homewards. There 
were many of those who embarked, hardly, however, the majority, of 
whom the magistrates and elders might be glad to be well rid. But magis- 
trates and elders, as well as some men of weight, value, and high service, were 
among the returning company, not alleging that they were going merely 
for a visit, but intent upon remaining that they might have part and lot in 
the stir of affairs. It is of these that Winthrop, in his Journal, utters himself 
in touching pathos, as abandoning by a broken covenant those to whom, 
for good or for evil fortune, they had pledged joint endeavor and holy 
fellowship. The interests of the Colony were also temporarily prostrated 
from the suspension of foreign trade, the value of all products of the Colony 
depreciated, and debtors could not meet their obligations. It did, for the 
time, look as if the forests must be left to grow again over our clearings, 
and one more colonial failure be added to the melancholy list. Winthrop 
records not only the darkness of the surroundings, but also the spirit of 
resolve and trust which brought with it cheer and hope. He would abide 
in his lot and be the stay of others. Only after long and divided counsels 
did the Court resolve, under the depression of their fortunes, to send three 
agents to England to have in view the interests of the Colony. With the 
dignity of a noble pride the agents were strictly cautioned, thus, " that 
they should not seek supply of our wants in any dishonorable way, as by 
begging or the like, for we were resolved to wait upon the Lord in the use 
of all means which were lawful and honorable." 

The reader must look to the numerous and fuller sources of historical 
information, if he wishes to trace out all the stages and processes of the de- 
velopment in the minds and measures of the more responsible leaders of the 
scheme of the Puritan Commonwealth. Puritan ideas and institutions are 

1 IDr. Palfrey, Hist, of New England, Preface, this immigration ceased, are the ancestors of 
considers that the 20,000 persons which consti- the great body of our New England stock. 
tuted the population of New England when ED.J 


to be studied both through the kind of influence which they exercised and 
the strength of that influence. It contained in itself elements and agencies 
corrective of its own mistakes and ill workings. We may compare it in some 
respects to those fruits and berries which in their unripe and maturing stages 
are very acrid, but healthful and grateful after passing through the later 
processes. It is denied by no one, and with rightful boasting it is proudly 
maintained by the wisest and most candid philosophical historians, that the 
heritage assured to later generations by Puritanism, as softened and modified 
by the working of its own self-developed forces, is eminently fruitful in civil, 
social, and domestic virtues and prosperities. The awful sincerity of its stern 
disciples, and the lofty sanctity of the aims and motives which they avowed 
as having committed themselves in all things to a holy covenant with God 
and each other, secured them against the worst forms of disaster from self- 
seeking and corruption which would inevitably have fallen upon them. The 
Puritan Commonwealth may ever claim the honor of having trained the 
spirit and fostered the virtues which redeemed it from its own limitations 
and errors. 

A democracy was the product or result, not by any means the intent, 
of the enterprise when it was put on trial. On the first intimation or alarm 
of a tendency in that direction, John Cotton, the clerical oracle of the 
theocracy, wrote, " Democracy I do not conceive that God ever did ordain 
as a fit Government either for Church or Commonwealth." But, none the 
less, how democracy developed and established itself is not only traceable in 
every stage of its growth, in spite of the shock and the purposed resistance 
to it, but is also to be accounted to the natural and inevitable conditions of 
the experiment here on trial. The objects had in view involved democracy, 
and were consistent only with democracy. The air of the sea and the wilder- 
ness, the atmosphere of exile, the withdrawal from the scenes, habits, re- 
straints, and safeguards of the old home, the essential equality of condition 
to which gentlemen and servants were alike reduced in exposures, straits, and 
occupations, levelled distinctions and compelled familiarity in intercourse. 
After the arrival of the colonists here, not one of them, however gentle his 
degree in England, was free from the necessity of manual labor in the field, 
the forest, and in building and providing for a home. The Governor's wife 
made and baked her own batch of bread, and from her dwelling, near the 
site of the Old South Church, would take pail in hand and go down to fill it 
from the spring that still flows under the basement of the new Post Office. 

The rapid decay of the sense of loyalty to the English monarch, of de- 
pendence upon or deference to his authority, which followed upon the 
breathing of this free air, and which antedated Independence long previous 
to its declaration, was also a direct influence for fostering democracy. The 
only substitute, for allegiance to the King was obedience to laws of their own 
enactment. In their secret persuasion, the first colonists here probably 
regarded the claims of dominion of the English monarch over these wild 
realms as quite unsubstantial and visionary. The possession and subjection 

VOL. i. 21. 


of them at their own charges, with that shrewd and scrupulous avoidance 
from the first of asking or receiving any help or protection from the monarch, 
gave them rights which they persuaded themselves overrode his. One who 
is keen in his search and reading in the more minute details of our history 
will meet some curious tokens of a seeming arrest of the democratic ten- 
dency here, and a temporary show of the revival of loyalty after the substi- 
tution of the provincial for the colonial charter. Self-governed by native 
magistrates of our own choice, we had become, to all intents and purposes, 
independents of the democratic pattern. The name of the monarch had been 
dropped from statutes and writs and legal processes. We had no courtly re- 
presentatives here, except nominal ones with popular titles and indorsements. 
Royal birthdays were not among our holidays. But when crown officers 
were put in authority over us, and came with their commissions, functions, 
and ceremonials, sometimes with a show of state, in robings, symbols, and 
equipages, the effect, perceptibly, on a class of the less sturdy among us 
was a little dazing and beguiling. The reminder came rudely and unwel- 
come to the majority, that rank and privilege and prerogative might still 
exert themselves against a pure democracy. A striking illustration of the 
collision between the intruding of a revived loyalty and the habit attending 
its previous decay here is presented in the jealousy and distrust and even 
contempt on the part of many for those two of the Royal Governors of 
the Province who made the most trouble for the people. These were Gover- 
nor Joseph Dudley and Governor Thomas Hutchinson, both of them natives 
of the soil, of the strictest Puritan stock and lineage, baptized and nurtured 
in the Puritan Church, and pledged by its covenant, and graduates of its 
college : they were none the less courtiers, and hated perhaps unduly or 
unjustly as recreant to their own heritage. These retrospects and revivals 
of a specious loyalty, after the change in the charter, attract notice by contrast 
only, as showing how firmly the spirit of independence and democracy had 
strengthened under the Puritan Commonwealth. The discomfitures which 
the theocratic system encountered, and the concessions which it was com- 
pelled to make to this same democratic spirit were the occasions of the 
modifications just referred to. Puritanism, like every other moral and reli- 
gious system, had to deal with human nature. 

Five years after the colony was planted, a paper was received by the au- 
thorities, entitled " Certain proposals made by Lord Say, Lord Brooke, and 
other persons of quality, as conditions of their removing to New England." 
The object of those who made these proposals was to secure encouragement 
in a proposed coming hither, from the assurance that in the government to be 
here established the hereditary privileges above " the common sort " should 
be secured to those of gentle blood. Though the accession of such persons 
was very desirable, the authorities evidently felt embarrassed in the matter, 
and the answers exhibit a gingerly caution and a shrewd sagacity. They 
were ready to accord " hereditary honors ; " but " hereditary authority " was 
quite another matter. Nor could the magistrates admit that the freeholders, 


or voters, should be those who owned a certain personal estate, for the con- 
dition of the franchise must be membership of some church. The only 
magistrates they could set in office must be " men fearing God " (Exodus 
xviii. 21), and these must be "chosen out of their brethren" (Deut. 
xvii. 15) " by saints" (i. Cor. vi. i). 

This frank and emphatic avowal that the Puritan State was founded on and 
was identical with the Puritan Church brings us back to the original intent in 
the minds of the chief spirits in the enterprise. The Puritan Commonwealth, 
as a theocracy, must be administered by " God's people" in church covenant. 

What was the material and constitution of the Puritan Church? Seven 
or more professing Christians, associating themselves together in covenant, 
constitute a Church for all the uses of Christian edification and enjoyment 
of ordinances ; nothing being between them and Christ. The Bible is their 
sole sufficient sanction, guide, and statute-book. In the sacred volume are 
to be found divine directions for 'the administration and discipline of the 
Church, a commission and instructions for its teachers and officers, the mat- 
ter of their teaching, the rule of believing and living for members, and the 
method of discipline. Men receive their authority and functions as ministers 
directly from God ; their qualifications of heart, mind, and spirit are from 
Him, in nowise dependent upon any allowance or transmitted privilege from 
their fellow-men. Such ministers, however, obtain an official position, op- 
portunity to teach and temporal support, from the free choice of a congre- 
gation desiring their services. God commissions the man, but the people 
set him in his place over or among them. The Puritans found a vast and 
sublime confirmation of their fundamental idea in the grand assertion by 
St. Paul, that the Gospel made each Christian to represent to himself the 
two highest offices, those of " a King and a Priest unto God." The 
Protestantism of various communions has in later years certified and fol- 
lowed these principles of church institution, and has found no bar to the 
adoption of them, even when under methods of fellowship freely accepted 
among themselves very many individual churches have been united in a 
larger brotherhood. But the Puritan discipline proved, on trial, to be 
impracticable, as crude, incomplete, inconsistent, and hopelessly embarassed 
by collision with the civil rights of men. Had all the accepted freemen in 
the colony been members of one single all-inclusive Church, there might, 
for a time at least, have been a degree of harmony and success in the trial 
of the theory. But there were many churches soon organized after the 
Puritan pattern. The theory was that each of them was independent in 
choosing its pastor, in administering discipline, and in its relations to the 
civil power. All these assumptions proved misleading and fallacious under 
the Puritan Commonwealth. A church could not be constituted, and a pas- 
tor set over it, without deference to the Court or magistracy. It was found 
necessary that each and all the churches should be mutually answerable, 
that they should come into accord in doctrine and discipline, and should 
recognize each other through councils and synods, the authority claimed by 


or yielded to these representative combinations being undecided and always 
likely to be contested. It would be neither interesting nor edifying to the 
general reader to follow the rehearsal of the discomfitures and contentions, 
the controversies and the alienations between brethren, and of the measures 
of offence and of opposition employed by those not of the brethren, which 
thwarted the experiment of a theocracy. The asserted right of private 
judgment did not then, any more than now, carry with it the wise exercise 
and use of it. Puritanism proved to be a nebulous fire-mist with marvellous 
potencies in it, requiring, in the processes of evolution from it, time and 
space and modifying conditions. The development of the theocratical 
experiment does not engage sympathetic or amiable feelings as we read it. 
Every session of the Court, every meeting of the Magistrates, the planting 
of each new Church, the arrival of each new group of men and women of 
independent or " nimble " spirit, the ever restless inquisitions and searchings 
of thoroughly honest seekers for truth in the " Word," and the curious con- 
ceits and notions of all sorts of erratic and mystical idealists continually 
opened matter of contention, and the fissure was ever enlarging and deep- 
ening. The ingenious and acrimonious strifes which ensued from the con- 
flict of opinions, and the disputations about civil and religious polity stand 
illustrated to us in a marvellous wealth of technical terms, constituting a 
jargon, antique and comical in its quaintness, not found in the literature of 
the old English divines outside of the Puritan fold. The series of severe pro- 
ceedings which were instituted by the Puritan authorities against the repre- 
sentatives of the more alarming heresies and seditious theories must be 
noticed by and by. It is enough here to dismiss with the slightest recogni- 
tion the active workings of the causes already presented in proving how 
impracticable was the experiment of the Puritan Commonwealth. The Court 
records testify to the endless complications of the attempt to commingle 
civil and ecclesiastical legislation, with their multiplying statutes and penal- 
ties against undefinable heresies, moaning laments about " the decay of 
religion," with judgments of fines, imprisonment, and banishment. Under 
the first Charter, five " Synods " of the Churches, respectively in 1637, 
1648, 1662, 1679, and 1680, were held in the vain attempt to harmonize 
variances and to construct a platform of discipline. 1 Not gradually, but 
rapidly, the habits and feelings which had been identified with the religious 
and ecclesiastical associations of their old home yielded under the stress of 
changed circumstances and fresh elements of thought. Mr. Cotton divested 
himself of all that once characterized him as the vicar of a prelate with 
book-services and rites, and was prepared to " clear the Way of Congrega- 
tional churches." Only that " Way " was constantly obstructed by being 
coursed in every direction by by-paths and foot-tracks, by misleading sign- 
boards, and by travellers in all sorts of conveyances, very few of whom 
seemed to enjoy each other's company. Seven years after his arrival, Win- 

1 [Dr. Dexter has examined the bearing of these Synods in Congregationalism as seen in its 
Literature, ED.] 


throp wrote this distinct averment: "Whereas the way of God hath always 
been to gather his churches out of y e world, now y e world, or civill state, 
must be raised out of y e churches." 

It would on some accounts be desirable, in the writing of fresh pages for 
the perusal of the present generation, if the painful and darker incidents in 
the development of the Puritan Commonwealth could be passed without 
mention, or dismissed with a sentence in general terms of regret and pre- 
ferred oblivion. But one constraining reason, to say nothing of others, for 
pursuing a different course presents itself in the consideration that some 
of the most essential principles and elements of the stern system here set 
on trial were made to appear only in the sharp encounters with its opponents 
and assailants. Only when the Puritan Commonwealth was driven into self- 
defence against those who struck at its vitality, through denying its authority, 
insulting its dignity, and in successfully breaking its thraldom, can we under- 
stand it for what it was. Intolerance and bigotry might be regarded as 
allowable in defence of a form of Puritanism which held its disciples to 
lofty aims and found them cheerfully meeting pains and penalties in fidelity 
to it. But pitiless severity, running at last, by provocation and passionate 
indulgence, into acts of direful cruelty, brought humiliation upon our an- 
cient magistrates, left sad and dark stains on a few years of their record, and 
finally confounded and subverted the original scheme of their government. 
Yet that austerity of intolerance, that ruthlessness in punitive methods, could 
alone consist with sincerity and stern fidelity to the Puritan scheme and rule. 

Doubtless the odiousness of the Puritan discipline and legislation may 
be heightened by a trifling and scornful rehearsal of the follies and errors 
consequent upon it, especially in the outrages visited by it on individuals 
and classes who, however offensive in their heresies, were upright and pure 
in life. All harshness of censure, all contempt and ridicule poured upon 
the Puritan magistrates, is utterly unjust when it proceeds, as it generally 
does, upon the implication that the sort of persons whom they are charged 
with persecuting were in spirit and conduct then what the sort of persons 
are who are known among us now under the same names and as holding the 
same opinions. And those sharp criticisms are also equally unjust, when 
they transfer the standard of intelligence and judgment, and the social 
securities of our times, to the past of two hundred years. Nor, on the other 
hand, would any candid person be willing to set up a plea in justification 
of the Puritan magistrates, and so make himself a party to their harsh pol- 
icy. It is the simple facts of history that we want, and essential parts of 
those facts are to be found in the atmosphere of the times, the modes of 
thinking and believing, and the relations between men, as they then differed 
widely from what they are in these days. Anything that mitigates or re- 
lieves the severity of the proceedings against those who voluntarily courted 
the austere discipline of the Puritan magistracy may be alleged in the inter- 
est of both the sufferers and the inflictors of the wrong. 

The main intent and design of those who " enterprised " the Bay Colony 


planting itself in Boston has been fully set forth, both as it was conceived by 
those who planned and guided it, and as the practical trial of it developed its 
elements and conditions somewhat more clearly than the founders had appre- 
hended them. Having insufficiently secured themselves at the start against 
the intrusion of uncongenial and obnoxious strangers, they would need to 
devise most stringent measures in dealing with them as they presented 
themselves. It is important to keep in mind the fact that the repressive 
and punitive measures adopted against a succession of individuals and 
classes of persons who made protests and assaults against the civil or 
religious policy of the Commonwealth were all of them, in the full severity 
of their infliction, confined to the first thirty years of the colony. After 
that brief term there was a sensible relaxation of austerity, and an increase 
of allowance and tolerance. It is observable, likewise, that as the severe 
dealing with heretics and dissentients was mitigated, their zeal and fervor 
and offensiveness were sensibly reduced, and they ceased to present them- 
selves so obnoxiously. Here we note a very natural relation between the 
spirit of persecution and the spirit which obstinately and even wantonly or 
perversely provoked it. The fathers were anxiously, we say morbidly and 
timidly, dreading lest their bold venture in the wilderness should be pros- 
trated before it could strike root. Their first years were the years of its 
darkest uncertainty and its severest trial. Saving the slender colony at 
Plymouth, all other like enterprises presented to them only warnings, 
without a gleam of encouragement. The risk which they had most to 
dread was that from seditions and dissensions among themselves, coming 
from an assault upon their fundamental principles, "godliness" and 
harmony. Their troublers came precisely in the form and shape in which 
they apprehended them, in the form and in the sturdy and persistent 
protests of men and women against their civil and religious principles, and 
in the shape of active and irrepressible assailants of, and offenders against, 
their laws. As will soon appear, there was something extraordinary in 
the odd variety, the grotesque characteristics, and the specially irritating 
and exasperating course of that strange succession of men and women, of 
all sorts of odd opinions and notions, who presented themselves during a 
period of thirty years, seeming to have in common no other object than to 
grieve and exasperate the Puritan magistrates. We, indeed, can see that 
they had a higher and nobler mission. But those to whom they were so 
mischievous and hateful regarded them only as reckless and wanton dis- 
turbers of their peace. No sooner had one nuisance of this sort been dis- 
posed of, fined, banished, pilloried, whipped, and, in the last dread alterna- 
tive, swung from the gallows, than another, with a slight variation in the 
hue of heresy and the attitude of daring, presented himself. As travellers 
through the woods and bushes from Boston to Rhode Island in midsummer 
would then have been vexed by the whole brood of snakes and stinging 
insects, so that harborage of " conscientious contentious heretics " seemed 
to furnish an endless variety of the troublers of our Israel. Cotton Mather 


said that Roger Williams " had a wind-mill in his head," and that if any- 
body had lost his conscience, he might find one of a sort to suit him in 
Rhode Island. A rich variety of specimens was certainly offered from 
that source to Boston. 

A reader of the old strange annals of those times may be moved to 
conceive what would have been the fate and fortune of the Puritan Common- 
wealth had it been put to the test of quite another set of spirits than those 
who tried it. Suppose that a party had been developed among them who 
simply intensified Puritanism, as moping ascetics, devotees, exceeding in 
austerity and rigidness the tone and ways of their associates, rebuking 
their regard for worldly thrift, and exacting a piety even sterner than 
theirs : possibly their history might then have read somewhat differently. 
But if we would rightly read their history as it is written, we must now re-- 
cognize the fact that those who experienced the most ruthless dealing from 
the Puritan magistrates presented themselves as representing opinions, no- 
tions, and practices which were at the same time most odious and alarming 
to the Puritans. The latter welcomed indeed they perfectly revelled in 
disputations confined to the exposition and interpretation of the Bible. 
They were ready on all occasions to entertain either with approval or assault 
anything offered to them as exposition or interpretation of Holy Writ. 
Texts were to them a legal tender in the currency of beliefs and obligations. 
But when assertion and argument took them outside of the Bible, either in 
the direction of ecclesiastical traditions and " Papistical claims," or of the 
asserting of special illuminations or " revelations," they were taken at a 
disadvantage ; variances then became embittered ; there was no recognized 
umpire for adjusting the issues opened, and they had recourse to other 
weapons and methods than those of argument. Identifying civil order and 
security with the foundation and safeguards of their Commonwealth which 
they had drawn from and, as they believed, had squared by the Bible, all 
" heady notions," all eccentric individualisms, all mystical speculations, 
became, in their apprehensions, fomentings of sedition and revolution. 
Even in our own secure State, with all the interests and excitements of our 
heterogeneous population, we are not without experiences and memories of 
rancors and dreads caused by the wild vagaries and the fancied plottings 
of mischief of men and women who shock convictions or defy the laws, or 
threaten, instead of " prophesying," woes and calamities to the community. 

The range of life and the materials for mental occupation and excitement 
were exceedingly meagre for the hard-worked and anxious exiles of the 
Puritan colony. They were enthralled by all the superstitions of their own 
time, and additional clouds of gloom and fear came over them from their 
wilderness experiences. They became morbid, excitable, and apprehen- 
sive, so that they persuaded themselves that an attitude of watchfulness for 
self-defence should keep them ever on their guard against visible and 
invisible foes, fiendish powers of the air; Indians who, if not victims of 
Satan, seemed to be in league with him; and evil men, disturbers and 


fomenters of mischief. The magistrates and elders, with their fuller intelli- 
gence and a sense of their enhanced responsibility, realized that they had 
in charge many of " y e weaker sort " among the common people, who 
might easily be drawn away by the craft or subtilty of " erratic spirits," and 
they felt bound to guard them from the risks of contact with heretics. It 
is to be remembered, also, that in the mother country, where there seemed 
less reason for dreading the influence of fanaticism and the ingenuities of 
heresy, the authorities anticipated the course pursued in this colony in 
dealing with the same classes of offenders. The penalties of fining, 
imprisonment, scourging, and mutilations- of the person inflicted here were 
in strict imitation of those inflicted in England on the strange fellowships 
of Ranters, Seekers, Anabaptists, Quakers, Muggletonians, Fifth-Monarchy 
men, &c., saving only that Boston brought four of its most insufferable 
tormenters to the gallows. The wit of man in sanity or mildly crazed, 
working upon all the fancies and whimseys of the human brain, might well 
be challenged, even in these days so fertile in speculation and individual 
theories and crotchets, to match the productiveness of the enthusiastic and 
fanatical spirits of England just preceding and extending through the 
Commonwealth period of its history. Given the two chief factors or sources 
of material to be wrought with, the Bible under each one's private inter- 
pretation to test what he could make of it, whether he could himself read it, 
or was dependent upon listening to it from others' lips ; and the fathomless 
chaos and medley creations of an overwrought, uninstructed mind, believed 
in each case to be illuminated and inspired by special divine communica- 
tions, and we cease to marvel over the effervescing products of the com- 
bination. Human ingenuity, conceit, credulity, and self-delusion may be 
said to have exhausted their resources and capacities in the products of the 
time, which were wrought out by the abounding forms of eccentric sectarism 
and heresy. Out of the mountain heaps of pamphlets and tractates of the 
period, with which the busy presses teemed, enough are extant in these 
days to constitute in themselves a portent to be marvelled over. Indeed 
these extraordinary productions are now sought for and gathered up at large 
cost by curious collectors, fascinated by their quaint titles, their mystic 
dreamings, their extravagant vagaries, their intensity of conviction which 
would have made their disciples ready to bear the rack or the stake. 

One of the most profoundly engaging exercises in the study of the life 
of Milton^ as illustrated by his times, is to note how his noble soul, in 
working out the grand immunity of the private conscience in its exercises 
of thinking and believing, was tormented by " the buzz and gabble," so 
noisy and teazing all around him. The effervescences and extravagances of 
what we call the religious spirit, working its wonderful manifestations 
among large numbers of ignorant and illiterate persons in that period, 
engaged many pens in the mere effort to catalogue and classify them, as 
one arranges strange specimens of Nature's productions in a cabinet. But 
these broods of sectaries were by no means in a fossil or inert condition. 


They were very much alive, and about equally engaged in prophesying 
their own oracles and assailing other peoples'. Certain names and titles 
have come down to us, and are in use to-day as designating religious sects, 
or denominations, or opinions, which were first adopted or assigned when 
those who bore them are supposed to have first espoused the beliefs or 
opinions which the words now designate. We read how ruthlessly the 
Puritan magistrates dealt with Antinomians, Baptists, and Quakers. But 
there are no persons now living who fully represent those who first 
bore these names, and carried with them the repute, and made such a 
manifestation of themselves, as did those who teazed and tormented the 
old magistrates. We should be greatly misled if we transferred to those 
who were once dealt with here as Baptists and Quakers the qualities, princi- 
ples, ways, and demeanor of those who now bear these names, seeing that 
the latter do not represent in spirit, word, or act the sort of persons of whom 
we read in our history. It would be enough to set us in the right point of 
view for seeing the real truth on this subject, if we should simply cull out 
the epithets and phrases for individuals, and for their opinions and behav- 
ings, which the magistrates and elders used in dealing with the objects of 
their stern discipline. The emphatic words employed make up a strange 
category. They are such as these : blasphemous, seditious, unsavory, ex- 
orbitant, monstrous, diabolical, impious, satanical, with many other sharp, 
stinging epithets. To say nothing of the absurdity of the supposition that 
any such terms should be applied to the opinions or practices of those 
known among us as Baptists and Quakers, it is more to the point to remind 
ourselves that even the Puritan magistrates themselves would not have 
used them if under those names they had had to deal only with such as 
now bear them. The explanation of the matter is not far to seek. While 
charging upon the intolerance and bigotry of the Puritan magistrates the 
utmost burden of blame for what there was in their stern principles which 
drove them to the unrelenting and distressing severity of their penalties, 
there is quite another element in the case for which candor must make a 
very large though undefined allowance as palliating their fault. 

If we should gather in a series the individuals and the classes of persons 
who were the victims of Puritan intolerance, we should have to recognize 
the fact that, with the single exception of the case of Roger Williams, 
to be specially referred to in its place, there were common qualities in 
those who provoked that intolerance which were peculiarly aggravating and 
hateful to the magistrates and ministers. There was in all of them a strong 
and ardent element of enthusiasm and fanaticism, and in most of them a 
claim to a special divine illumination and guidance in the form of " private 
revelations," the avowal of which goaded the Puritans to rage, and made 
those professedly so " inspired " the objects of mingled contempt and dread. 
A thorough and faithful study of the records of the Court, of the pamphlets 
and tractates of the time, of the extant manuscripts which preserve the 
language and fervor of the sharp conflicts, and a perusal of the historical 


digests whose writers, in their earnest championship of the respective par- 
ties to the strife, have taken care that either side shall have a fair and full 
hearing, while it may or may not be regarded as rewarding the labor of 
the inquirer, will teach him a useful wisdom. He will find himself gradu- 
ally but sensibly taken into a very different range for thought, belief, and 
mental occupation from that in which we move and live. He will meet 
with no need or use for that sort of tolerance which consists with indiffer- 
ence. While wondering how human beings could work themselves into 
such fervors and fevers of zeal and passion about fancies and notions to us 
so remote from the range of reasonable and healthful interest, we often 
find ourselves admiring them for their manifest sincerity and constancy. 
Nor are there lacking among them the evidences of a rich ingenuity and 
ideality in fashioning out of misty speculations the shapings of some august 
truths. We are not infrequently awed by catching from the lips of illiterate 
persons, in their seeming delirium from their oracles, the proof of a marvel- 
lous insight in the region of elevated ideas. We are led, perhaps, to a better 
appreciation of the cautious sagacity of Erasmus in protesting against Lu- 
ther's resolve to offer the Bible in the vernacular to the free perusal of the 
common people. But we are also impressed with a sense of the inner fecun- 
dity and the quickening spirit of the Bible for earnest and restless minds, 
who received it as if passed to them in a cloud from the hand of God, to 
be read and brooded over as a private message, direct and sufficient. 

One of the most picturesque characters for us in our early chronicles, 

though he had quite another aspect and personification for the old magis- 

> trates, was Samuel Gorton. He is described by 

t fT f fr them as representing " the very dregs of Famil- 

*4% -fffjfrx^ . 

qj ism, an insufficient portraiture for our days. 

He was a " clothier from London." We first 

hear of him as appearing in Boston in 1636, and as shortly going to Ply- 
mouth, whence he was soon expelled for holding some strange and, to us, 
unintelligible heresies. Next, he was whipped in Rhode Island for calling 
the magistrates "just-asses," and found refuge with Roger Williams in 
Providence. In a controversy with our authorities about the lands on 
which he and others had settled, he was seized, and with ten of his followers 
was brought to Boston, where, for his " damnable heresies," he was put in 
irons, confined to labor, and whipped, and then banished on pain of death 
if he appeared here again. His heresies were reputed as proving him a 
disciple of the fanatic David George, of Delft, the founder of the " Family of 
Love," who called himself the " Messiah." It was said that Gorton could 
neither write nor read. If the charge had been that what he did write 
was utterly unintelligible for its mystical and cloudy rhapsodies and dream- 
ings, it would have been more to the point. On a visit which he made to 
England, he engaged the countenance of the Earl of Warwick to redress 
his wrongs; and he wrote, or published, tractates and expositions of his 
fancies, from which one in these days will hardly succeed in drawing out 



anything but darkness. Yet he founded a sect which bore his name in 
Rhode Island for a century, and proved in private and civil capacities to be 
a useful man. Any one who, in these days, may be curious to inform him- 
self about the opinions of this reputed " Familist" may find them in books 
bearing his name, such as Simplicities Defence against Seven-Headed Polity ; 
An Incorruptible Key composed of the CX. Psalm, &c. His writings are 
accessible, but they do not obtrude themselves on the present generation. 1 

The first serious trouble, engaging severe measures in the action of 
the Court, was that of Roger Williams. Though he was not and never 
became a member or freeman of the Company, he was welcomed on his 
arrival. He came here on his own prompting, and of course could remain 
only on sufferance, if he should prove a desirable person. Arriving with 
his wife in Boston, in 1631, while 
Wilson of the First Church was absent 
in England, Williams was invited to 
become its teacher. He says that 
he refused the invitation because the members of the church would not 
make humble confession of sin in having communed with the Church of 
England. He was not then known, as in the after years of his life, for his 
sweetness of spirit, his breadth of liberality, and his noble magnanimity, but 
seems to have most impressed those who met him as holding " singular 
opinions," and being " very unsettled in judgmente." He was more wel- 
come in Salem, where he first went, than he proved to be at Plymouth, 
where he made a short stay, and whence he returned to Salem in 1634. 
The gentle Elder Brewster, fearing that he would " run a course of rigid 
Separation and Anabaptistry," was glad to facilitate his removal from 
Plymouth. There are, of course, two ways of telling the story of his 
troubles with the Massachusetts authorities. One, a plea in his defence 

1 [The sources of knowledge of the Gorton printed in 2 Mass, f/ist. Coll., iv. ; in Force's 
controversy are Winthrop's New England, Sav- Tracts, iv., and edited by W. T. R. Marvin, Bos- 
age's edition, ii. 69; documents in Hazard's ton, 1869. Window replied in his New Eng- 
Collections ; Johnson's Wonder-working Provi- land's Salamander, 1647, of which there is a 
deuce, Poole's edition, p. 185, and the several copy in Harvard College Library; reprinted in 
controversial tracts of the time. In 1646 Gor- 3 Mass. Hist. Coll , ii. Gorton took exception to 
ton printed his defence of his own conduct in some part of Morton's New England's Memorial, 
New England, the Simplicities Defence, now a and furnished an answer, which Henry Stevens 
rare book, of which there are copies in the Prince printed at London in 1862 from an autograph 
collection and in Harvard College Library ; but manuscript. Cf. Force's Tracts, iv. The con- 
there are reprints of U in Rliodc Island Hist, troversy has been followed with more or less 
Coll., ii., and in Force's Tracts, iv. Edward Wins- care in Hubbard's New England, ch. xlvii. ; 
low, of Plymouth, who had been sent to England Baylies's Old Colony, i. ch. xii. ; Palfrey's New 
to thwart the purposes of the enemies of the England, il. ch. iii., iv.f and v. ; Felt's Eccles. 
confederacy, answered Gorton in his Hypocracie Hist, of New England, i. 512; Arnold's Rhode 
Unmasked (copies in Mr. Deane's and in the Island, i. ch. vi. and vii.; Bryant and Gay's 
Carter Brown Library), which was reissued in United States, ii. ch. iv. ; George H. Moore's 
1649 with the title changed to The Danger of paper on Nathaniel Ward in the Hist. Mag., 
tolerating Levellers in a Civill State. Meanwhile, March, 1868. There is a life of Gorton by 
in 1647, on the other side, J. Child's New Eng- Mackie in Sparks's American Biography ; and 
Itimi's Jonas cast up at London purports to re- Charles Deane in the N. E. Hist, and Geneal. 
view the proceedings at Boston against "divers Reg-, July, 1850, goes over the matter and gives 
honest and godly persons." It has been re- the authorities. Eu.J 


against them, represents him as a premature champion of soul-liberty, 
denying .the right of the magistrate beyond civil matters, and pleading for 
the claims of the savages above the King's patent to the land. The other 
telling of the story sets him forth as a dangerous enthusiast, broaching 
opinions which struck at the foundations of all safe authority, and holding 
principles of such a seditious tendency as would have involved the com- 
plete wreck of the enterprise for which its projectors had spent and 
endured so much. The sentence pronounced against him charged that he 
had " broached and divulged divers new and dangerous opinions against 
the authority of magistrates, as also writ letters of defamation, both of the 
magistrates and churches here." The Court forbade his longer stay within 
its jurisdiction. The " wilderness " into which he was banished was a part 
of the same sort as the whole country at that time. As far as location, 
scenery, soil, and surroundings were concerned, he certainly was the gainer 
in finding a new home in Providence. He proved to be the first of a scries 
of stragglers, holding all manner of eccentric individualisms of opinion, with 
" all sorts of consciences," who found a home there and in Rhode Island. 
Trouble and distraction enough, too, they had in settling any sort of policy 
and society in their free State. Between the range of diversity in utterance 
and deed there indulged and allowed, and the strict uniformity labored for in 
Massachusetts, one is reminded of the difference between attempting to cord 
up into a symmetrical pile and range straight sticks of wood of the same 
length, and essaying the same object with a heap of stumps drawn from the 
earth, with their roots and prongs projecting at all angles in every direction. 1 

1 [Roger Williams and his controversies have of the Lambe, 1652, which has also been reprinted 
produced a long list of literary illustrations, by the same club. Further titles appertaining 
The original sources are found in Bradford's may be found in the Brinley Catalogue, and in 
Neio Plymouth ; in Winthrop's New England, H. M. Dexter's Bibliography of Congregation- 
and in the latter's papers on the Baptist con- alism. Professor Tyler, in his Hist, of American 
troversy and his argument against Williams's Literature, i. 241, takes a kindly view of Williams 
attack on the patent, which are printed in the in this matter. The judgment of him which is 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., February, 1873, with Mr. taken in Mather's Magnalia, bk. vii. 430, and in 
Deane's examination of the validity of the charter Hubbard's New England, ch. xxx., may be con- 
title to the lands, which Williams denied. Also sidered as emanating from those who derived 
Williams's letters, both as given in the Narra- impressions from a generation that knew him ; 
gansett Club Publications, vi., and in the Win- but the friends of Williams claim that they are 
throp papers in Mass. Hist. Coll., third series, prejudiced. Backus's Hist, of New England, 
\\. and x., and fourth series, vi. Further, Wil- being written primarily in the interests of the 
liams's controversial works, particularly his Baptists, whose faith Williams later embraced, 
Blondy Tcnent of Persecution for Cause of Con- represents the views of the other side. Professor 
science, London, 1644, two editions, an exposi- Diman, in his preface to Cotton's reply to Wil- 
tion and defence of his views on toleration. The liams as published by the Narragansett Club, is 
original print is found in a few libraries (Har- generally, however, considered to have treated 
vard, Prince, Historical Society, &c.), and re- the vexed questions at issue between Rhode 
prints have been made by the Hansard Knollys Island and Massachusetts writers with a good 
Society in 1848, and by the Narragansett Club deal of candor. Dr. George E. Ellis, in his 
in 1867. This book elicited from John Cotton, lectures on the treatment of intruders and dis- 
the Boston minister, his rejoinder, The Blondy sentients, published in the Hist. Society's Lowell 
Tenent, Washed, And made white in the bloud of Institute Lectures, takes the same view as in the 
the Lambe, and Williams was again prompted to text. Dr. H. M. Dexter, in his As to Roger Wil- 
respond in his Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody, by liams, makes a very searching collation of the 
Afr. Cotton's Endevor to wash it white in the Blood authorities, and contends that the banishment 


More serious still, and, for a short period of embittered and alienating 
discord between parties in Boston almost equally matched in earnestness 
and influence, threatening the complete and disastrous overthrow of the 
colonial enterprise, was what is known in our history as the " Antinomian 
Controversy." There are some articles on the long list of discovered and 
branded " Heresies," of which we may say that the worst thing about them 
is their names, with the ill associations which they have acquired. Among 
these is " Antinomianism." Some of our readers must be saved the trouble 
of turning to the dictionary to learn what the word means, by being told that 
it signifies a denial of, or opposition to, legalism, or a subjection to the law 
of works as the duty of a Christian. " Antinomians " were understood to hold 
that one who believed himself to be under a " covenant of faith" need not 
concern himself to regard " the covenant of works." In other words, those 
who internally and spiritually had the assurance that they were in a state of 
"justification" might relieve themselves of all anxiety as to their " sanctifi- 
cation." It is easy to see what possible mischief of dangerous self-delusion 
and utter recklessness about the demands of strict virtue and even common 
morality was wrapt up in this beguiling heresy. Some private mystical ex- 
perience, real or imagined, that one was in a " state of grace," might secure 
a discharge from scrupulous fidelity of conduct. Thus, that sad reprobate, 
Captain Underbill, a member of the Boston Church, and very serviceable in 
his military capacity, when detected in gross immorality, had the assurance 
to tell the pure-hearted Governor Winthrop, " that the Spirit had sent in to 
him the witness of Free Grace, while he was in the moderate enjoyment of 
the creature called tobacco," that is, while he was smoking his pipe. 

This dreaded heresy came to the stern Puritans of Boston associated with 
grossly licentious professions and indulgences among fanatics in Germany 
and Holland, and was by no means unknown by such tokens in old England. 
But allowing for very exceptional cases, like that of Underbill, no such 
scandals attach to the names and conduct of the Antinomians who were so 
ruthlessly dealt with in Boston in 1636. The most prominent among the 
Antinomians here, the one who "broached the heresy," and whose name 
is the synonym of it, was Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, a pure and excellent 

was for political reasons chiefly; and- this is der Congregationalisten in Neu England, and 
the view in J. A. Vinton's article in the Congre- Masson's Life and Times of Milton, iii. S. G. 
gational Quarterly, July, 1873. Of the lives of Drake, in the Hist. Mag., December, 1868, ex- 
Williams, Knovvles's, 1834, is based on authentic amines the question of the authenticity of an 
material; Gammell's is briefer and is in Sparks's alleged portrait of Williams, which first, and 
A in er. Biography; Elton's, 1852, brings forward properly, did service for Franklin in Watson's 
new facts, which are also used by Guild in his Annals of Philadelphia, 1830. The same plate, 
introduction to the Narragansett Club publica- with Williams's name under it, served some 
tions, 1865. The relations of Williams and the years afterwards as his likeness in the Welsh 
Boston authorities are also discussed more or less Magazine, published in New York. Later, a 
fully in Bancroft, i. ch. ix. ; Palfrey's New Eng- painting was made to match the Franklin head ; 
land, i. ch. x. ; Arnold's Rhode Island; Budding- and this painting was engraved as a portrait 
ton's First Church in Charlestoum, p. 200 ; Felt's of Williams in Benedict's History of the Bap- 
Ecdes. Hist, of N. E. i. ch. ix. ; Sprague's Annals tists, 1847. The fraud was first exposed by 
of the American Pulpit, vi., &c. For foreign Charles Deane in the Cambridge Chronicle in 
views see Gervinus's introduction to his History 1850. The painting was recently in existence 
of the Nineteenth Century; Uhden's Geschichte in Roxbury. ED.| 



woman, to whose person and conduct there attaches no stain. She first became 
known for her kind and helpful services, friendly and medical, to her own sex 
in their needs. She is described as a woman of " nimble wit " and a high 
spirit, gifted in argument and ready speech. She was inquisitive and critical, 
perhaps censorious. But her most alarming quality was that she " vented 
her revelations; " i. e., in a form of prophecy sometimes threatening and 
denunciatory gave utterance to forebodings of judgment and disaster to 
come upon the Colony, as revealed to her by special divine communications. 
While no claim to such privileged illumination could for a moment stand 
with the Puritans as even possible of proof, the assertion of it was of the 
very essence of fanaticism. Yet the weak and credulous might be ensnared 
by it, and then there was no setting limit or restraint to the ruin and woe 
which might come upon them. 

Having made herself trusted and esteemed by many of the principal 
women of the town, Mrs. Hutchinson drew groups of them around her to 
discuss the sermons delivered by the elders. 1 It soon appeared that by her 
judgment most of these preached a " covenant of works." The theme of 
earnest debate, and the vehicle which it found in tongues not always discreet 
or charitable, soon made itself a power outside of the women's meetings. 
The spark was set to inflammable materials. The whole community was in 
a fever of mutual distrust, jealousy, and dread of impending catastrophe. 
Had Boston at the time been the only local settlement in the colony, or 
isolated from connection through the Court with others, it seems as if its 
goodly birth and hope would have been darkly and dismally succeeded by 
a most gloomy blight and extinction. It was saved from absolute ruin by 
its neighbor settlements, which had not been so stirred by the matter of strife. 
As the dealings of the Court and the Church with Mrs. Hutchinson and her 
party became more and more embittered and stern, it was found that she 
had a very strong following. The two associate elders Cotton and Wilson, 
and the two Governors, Winthrop and Vane, each respectively took dif- 
ferent sides in the contest. Many of the principal inhabitants of Boston 
warmly espoused the views of Mrs. Hutchinson. 2 As the dispute came to 

who had come over with Winthrop, and for 
some years had been a prominent resident and 
merchant of Boston. He is said to have built 
the first brick house erected in the town. He 
was dropped from the government when Win- 
throp was elected over Vane in their memorable 
contest, but the freemen immediately returned 
him as a Deputy. In April, 1638, he, with others, 
removed to the island of Aquidneck, and founded 
the State of Rhode Island. A portrait of him 
hangs in the Council Chamber at Newport, and 
is engraved in Bryant and Gay's United States, 
ii. 44. For Coddington's origin, see N. E. 
I list, and Geneal. Keg., January, 1874, p. 13. 
He was from Lincolnshire, and the Ply- 
mouth Dr. Fuller, in his letter to Bradford, 
calls him a " Boston man," as Dr. Haven 
explains in his chapter. Eu.J 

1 [Mrs. Hutchinson lived at, or rather her 
husband's lot formed, the corner of the pres- 
ent Washington and School streets, where the 
"Old Corner Book-store" stands, nearly oppo- 
site Governor Winthrop's house, which was on 
the other side of Washington Street. William 
Aspinwall, one of her adherents, was a near 
neighbor, and lived on Washington Street, just 
south of School Street, his land extending 
back to the Common. Snow, Boston, p. 118. 
ED. | 

2 [Among them was William Coddington, 


the knowledge of the " common sort of people," it gained new elements of 
fear and passion, partly because there were real elements of lawlessness 
involved in it, and for the rest because so many who were heated by the 
strife had really no intelligent idea of the terms and significance of the 
controversy, so that they could distinguish between its practical and its 
panic qualities. 

The sentence against Mrs. Hutchinson stands thus in the Court record, 
that, " being convented for traducing the ministers and their ministry in this 
country, she declared voluntarily her revelations for her ground, and that 
she should be delivered and the Court ruined with their posterity ; and there- 
upon was banished," &c. The Church excommunicated her for " having 
impudently persisted in untruth." Two of her followers were both dis- 
franchised and fined, eight disfranchised, two fined, and three banished. 
Seventy-six inhabitants of Boston, in sympathy with her, were disarmed. 1 
The reason given by the Court for this last sentence of disarming was, 
" as there is just cause of suspicion that they, as others in Germany, in 
former times, may, upon some revelation, make some sudden irruption upon 
those that differ from them in judgment." 

The special and distinguishing feature, in the matter of this Antinomian 
controversy as presented by Mrs. Hutchinson, her friends and opponents, 
was that the civil and ecclesiastical penalties of Puritanism were inflicted 
in their full severity upon members of their own community ; most of them 
also in full church covenant. Other of the sufferers by the Puritan dis- 
cipline were for the most part strangers and intruders, who had neither part 
nor lot here, and whose presence and disturbing influence were regarded 
as simply acts of effrontery and wanton interference with what did not con- 
cern them. The Antinomians, so called, had been in kindly neighborly 
relations, fellow-believers, under the freeman's oath to the Commonwealth, 
and bound with them in " the fellowship of the saints." The more harrowing 
and distressing, therefore, was the antagonism that rose up between them. 
We apply the terms " intolerance and persecution " to the party which car- 

1 [The lists of the disarmed and of 
those who recanted, as shown by the enu- 
meration in Ellis's Anne Hutchinson and 
in Drake's Boston, embrace some of the 
leading townsmen, a few of whom we can 
note with interest in their own autographs. 
Under hill was the same who had done good 

of Winthrop, and we shall read more of him 
' n t ' ie chapter on Philip's war. Raynsford was 
an e lder f tne church and the head of a respect- 
a ^' e f am il>' ar| d an island in the harbor still 
preserves in its name the record of his former 
ownership. Aspinwall is a name not yet died 

service in the Pequot war. Savage was the out among us. Cf. Savage, Genealogical Dic- 

progenitor of the late James Savage, the editor tionary. ED.] 


ried with it the balance of power. But the magistrates and the elders would 
not have regarded those terms as fitly characterizing their measures. And 
it might be questioned which party was the more intolerant; for certainly 
neither of them was tolerant. It was the dread of those " revelations " from 
which there was no telling what might come that overbore the conflict of 
opinions. Though Mrs. Hutchinson's ultimate fate in another colony fall- 
ing with all her family save one child in an Indian massacre was most 
deplorable, it is pleasant to know that most of those who suffered with her 
expressed their regret and penitence and were restored. 

In defending the order of the Court in 1637, to the effect that " none 
should be allowed to inhabite here but by permission of the Magistrates," 
and in thus vindicating the banishment of the Antinomians, VVinthrop dis- 
tinctly fell back upon what he believed the proprietary right conferred by 
the Charter, previously defined. The incorporators, he urged, had secured 
a common interest in land and goods and in means for securing their own 
welfare ; and without their full consent no other person could claim to share 
in their privileges. The welfare of the whole could not be hazarded for the 
advantage of any individuals. No one, without permission of the proprietors, 
could come on their soil, take land, or intermeddle with their affairs. It 
followed, of course, that the proprietors were free, and indeed were bound 
to keep out and to expel from their society any persons who would be harm- 
ful or ruinous to them. " A Commonwealth," he added, " is a great family," 
and as such is not bound to entertain all comers, nor to receive unwelcome 
strangers. To this defence Sir Henry Vane wrote a strong and adroitly 
argued answer, but Winthrop backed his former plea with a rejoinder. By 
the expansion and warrant of the liberal views which we have reached, 
through the failure of all restrictive measures for controlling or suppressing 
perfect religious liberty, we should, of course, assign to Vane the nobler 
argument. But Winthrop had in view the security of an imperilled State, 
rather than restraints on conscience. 1 

1 [The original authorities of this contro- growing out of his connection with the synod for 

versy are these: Winthrop's New England, confuting the heresy, accounts of which are found 

with Mr. Savage's appendix of papers ; an in Winthrop's New England, i. 237 ; Cotton's 

anonymous book, issued in 1644 in London, Way Cleared, &c. p. 39; Johnson's IVonder- 

as Antinomians and Familists, and the same working Providence; Mather's Magnalia, vii. 

year reissued from the same type, but with ch. iii., &c. The proceedings of the General 

the changed title of A short story of the Rise, Court, which pronounced banishment upon Mrs. 

reign, and mine of the Antinomians, Familists, Hutchinson and Wheelwright, are given in \Vin- 

and Libertines that infected the Churches of New throp, i. 248, and in the Records of Mass. i. 207. 
England ; and another edition, the type new set, 
was issued the same year. The order of these 
issues and the purpose of the changes has occa- 
sioned some diversity of opinion, and the curi- 

ous controversy is traced in the Bulletin of the Contemporary documents are given in Hutchin- 

Harvard College Library, No. u, p. 287. The son's Collection of Papers, 1769, reprinted by the 

Rev. Thomas Weld, of Roxbury, furnished a Prince Society, 1865. Of Mrs. Hutchinson's 

preface to it, and this has led Savage and others trial, the Short Story account is not so full as 

to assign the authorship of it to him ; but Mr. that in Hutchinson's Massachusetts Bay, Appen- 

Deane gives reasons and proofs for supposing dix. The Fast Day sermon of Wheelwright, 

Winthrop to have been the main writer of it, as for which he was adjudged guilty of sedition, is 


The next class of persons, in the character of heretics or " troublers of 
their peace," to receive grievous treatment from the magistrates of the Pu- 
ritan Commonwealth, is represented among us now by the denomination of 
the Baptists, who charge themselves with the grateful obligation of redeem- 
ing the memory of the victims from reproach, while exposing the wrong and 
cruelty visited upon them. Here, again, we must make large allowance for 
the ill associations connected with names once borne by persons of offensive 
antecedents in previous years and in other lands, and for the dread of a 
repetition here of deplorable experiences the tale of which was to the Boston 
Puritans distressing and horrifying. " Anabaptists " is the word used in our 
records to define this class of victims. The prefix Ana to the name, with only 
which we are familiar, designates those who nad been baptized anew, or a 
second time. The first who bore the name having been baptized as in- 
fants, and having come to regard the rite at that time as unscriptural, fol- 
lowed the rule of their conscience in seeking its benefit at the time of their 
" conversion," in mature years, as a token of their Christian profession. Of 
course this repetition of the rite was a reflection upon the way of those who 
practised infant baptism. The proceedings against the innovators here were 
instituted just about the time when our rulers were most perplexed and 
dismayed by the experience already referred to, namely, the alarming in- 
crease in the number of persons growing up in the colony as unbaptized, 
because their parents were not members of a church. One might have 
supposed that the principles of the new heretics would have furnished in 
some sort a welcome relief under that sad perplexity presented by the 
growth of a heathen element in the community. But " Anabaptism " was a 
word which brought with it portentous associations of fanaticism, licentious- 
ness, and utter lawlessness and anarchy to the Puritans. Among the masses 

in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., August, 1866, with be named: Samuel Groom's Glass for the People 

a note by Mr. Deane, and also in the Historical of New England, 1676 (cf. G. H. Moore in Hist. 

Magazine, April, 1867, these following an ancient Mag. xiii. 28) ; Ward's Simple Cobler of Agawam 

MS., in the Historical Society's cabinet. An (reprinted in Force's Tracts, iii., and edited, 

early transcript is preserved among the Hutch- 1843, separately, by D. I'ulsifer) ; Thomas Shep- 

inson papers at the State House, and this is ard's Autobiography, first printed 1832, also in 

followed in C. H. Bell's John Wheelwright, his Young's Chronicles of Mass., and used by Cotton 

Writings, &c., published by the Prince Society Mather in his Magnolia, iii. ch. v. Among the 

in 1876; and in the memoir attached Mr. Bell later authorities may be named, additionally, 

follows the controversy, and ascribes to Wheel- Hubbarcl's New England ; Neal's New England, 

wright a reply to the "Short Story," which was 1720; C. Chauncy's Seasonable Thoughts on the 

entitled Mercurius Americanns, London, 1645, State of Religion, 17 '43; Backus's New England, 

which is reprinted by Bell from the Harvard Col- 1777 ; Dawson's Life and Times of Anne Hutch- 

lege copy. Dr. Ellis does not ascribe this book inson; Anderson's Memorable Women of Puritan 

to Wheelwright, and Savage and Felt think the Times; C. W. Upham's Life of Sir Henry Vane; 

"John Wheelwright, junior," of the title to Peleg W. Chandler's American Criminal Trials, 

mean a son of the author of the Fast-Day ser- i., for the legal aspects ; Lunt's Two Discourses 

mon. There was a remonstrance of members of at Quincy, 1839; John A. Vinton's defence of 

the Boston Church against Wheelwright's sen- the prosecution in Congregational Quarterly, 

tence, and this is given in Dr. E.\\\s's Life of Anne April, July, October, 1873; an( * tne g enera l 

Hutchinson, printed in Sparks's series of biog- histories of Bancroft, Grahame, Palfrey, Barry, 

raphies, which gives one of the best of the later &c. Dr. Albro covers the controversy in his 

accounts of the controversy. Of other contem- Life of Thomas Shepard, prefixed to Shepard's 

porary books bearing on the matter, there may Works, 1853, ch. viii. ED.] 
VOL. I. 23. 


of pamphlets and tractates dealing with the wild sectaries with which the 
time was so rife mentioned on a previous page was one little volume, 
copies of which we may be sure had found their way here. Of one of these 
now before me I transcribe the title : The Dippers dipt, or, The Anabaptists 
Duck'd and Plung'd over Head and Eares, &c. : The famous History of the 
frantick Anabaptists, their wild Preachings and Practices in Germany, &c. 
By Daniel Featley, D.D. London; 1651. With special and minute detail 
in its repulsive narration it tells of the frantic and delirious excitements 
wrought among the peasants by Thomas Muncer, the " Prophet John," of 
Leyden and other fanatics, " an illiterate, sottish, lying, and blasphemous 
sect, falsely pretending to divine Visions and Revelations: . . . also an impure 
and carnall Sect, a cruell and bloudy Sect, a prophane and a sacrilegious 
Sect, &c." Nor does the fiery tractate fail to give illustrations of each of 
these epithets. 

This is a specimen of the numerous volumes whose now time-stained 
paper was fresh and white as read by the Boston Puritans, and when in- 
stead of lifeless ashes the pages glowed with fire. The word " Anabap- 
tists," to those who put it into our Court records, was one to them thus 
weighted with dread and dismay and horror. Happily they had no answer- 
ing experience of the sort even from the most heated of the zealots with 
whom they .dealt under that name. Cotton Mather wrote, " many of the 
first settlers in Massachusetts were Baptists, and they were as holy, and 
watchful, and fruitful and heavenly a people as. any perhaps in the world." 
There was no complaint, no interference with any individuals espousing the 
Baptist principles, until they denounced the doctrine and practice of Infant 
Baptism, threatened divisions in the churches, and set up separate conventi- 
cles. Dunster, the President of the College, was proceeded with and dis- 
placed only because of an offensive obtrusion of his principles. The Court 
Record, under date of May, 1646, states that at the County Court at Salem, 
the previous year, William Witter of Lynn was presented by the grand jury 
for saying " that they who stayed whiles a child is baptised doe worshipp 
the devil." Nor would he atone for this grievous affront. It is alleged 
that Witter was a member of the Baptist Church at Newport, though living 
at what is now Swampscott, and that being infirm and having sought the 
sympathy of his brethren, two of them, Holmes and Crandall, with the Pas- 

tor, Clarke, had come to pay 

^' m a re ligi us visit, in 1651. 

Arriving on Saturday even- 

*J x? ing, they held a separate relig- 

jfl, 0Trlr&** ious service in W'itter's house 

r^V on Sunday, inviting in a few 

neighbors. Witter was then 
under censure of the Court for having called infant baptism "a badge of the 
whore." Boston had had previous trouble with these visitors. Holmes 
was " excommunicate," and they came into the jurisdiction at their own 



peril, adding to their offence by holding a separate conventicle. The in- 
truders were arrested, and being compelled against their will to attend the 
public meeting in the afternoon, they behaved unseemly. They contrived 
to hold another meeting at Witter's the next day. The Court sentenced 
the offenders to pay respectively a fine of five, twenty, and in the case of 
Holmes, thirty pounds, " or to be well whipped." The fines of Crandall 
and Clarke were paid, against their wishes, by friends. Holmes, not allow- 
ing this in his own case, was cruelly whipped. He had previously been 
in trouble in Plymouth, and was regarded as a nuisance here. The of- 
fences charged on the records of the Court against Clarke, Crandall, and 
Holmes are as follows : for being " at a Private Meeting at Lin, upon the 
Lord's day, exercising among themselves ; ... for offensively disturbing the 
peace of the Congregation at their coming into the Publique Meeting," 
which, however, they were forced to attend ; " for saying and manifesting 
that the church of Lin was not constituted according to the order of the 
Lord," &c. There was also a " suspition of having their hands in the re- 
baptising of one, or more, among us." 

So far from regarding themselves as " persecutors " in thus dealing with 
Baptists, our authorities maintained that they were but simply and rightfully 
defending their own most precious religious principles "and institutions from 
reproach and contempt by contumelious strangers. In 1644 they had by a 
law sentenced to banishment all persons who " shall either openly condemn 
or oppose the baptising of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others 
from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congre- 
gation at the administration of the ordinance, or shall deny the ordinance of 
magistracy, &c." There had been an earnest " Petition and Remonstrance " 
against this law ; but it stood in force. The consequence was that if any 
person in a congregation flouted at the ordinance of infant-baptism, or walked 
out when it was to be observed, he was proceeded against, and if under cove- 
nant might be excommunicated. And then, if those who had been excom- 
municated set up a " conventicle " of their own, they committed another 
grievous trespass. It is a sad story. Most pure and excellent and otherwise 
inoffensive persons were the sufferers, and generally patient ones. But the 
struggle was a brief one. The Baptists conquered in it, and came to equal 
esteem and love with their brethren. Their fidelity was one of the needful 
and effective influences in reducing the equally needful but ineffective in- 
tolerance of the Puritan Commonwealth. 

Of the then new outburst of heresy exemplified by those who " in con- 
tempt were called Quakers " the magistrates and elders of Massachusetts 
had heard, to their dread and horror, as causing an " intense stir" in England, 
nearly ten years before any one of them appeared in this colony. To 
the Puritan exiles their speech and behavior marked them as fanatics of the 
wildest, most reckless, and pernicious sort. They, too, had " illuminations," 
" inspirations," and " revelations," the impulses and directions of which they 
implicitly followed ; and, what to the Puritan turned even their sweetest and 


most edifying rhapsodies into " ravings and blasphemies," they assigned to 
the "impellings of the spirit" in them an authority above that of ''the written 
Word." It will always be a stumbling-block to the unskilled student of our 
history that the term " Quaker," borne for the last two centuries on this 
continent, as elsewhere, by a fellowship of men and women eminent for the 
quietude and loveliness of their graces and virtues, should have come into 
our local annals first as designating the offenders against charity, modera- 
tion, justice, and decency who were dealt with here from 1656 to six years 
onward. The Boston magistrates, being well-informed about the notions 
and doings of the " Ranters " in the mother country, dreaded a visit from 
them with as much dismay as that which apprehended the first coming 
hither of the cholera. There were many letters of warning received here, 
like one addressed two years before the first of the sect reached Boston to 
President Dunster of the College, containing such sentences as these : " A 
sect called Quakers doe much increase rayleing much att the ministry and 
refuseing to sho any reverence to magestrates. We hope they wilbe con- 
founded and ashamed off their Tenetts ; butt I could desire thatt some 
stricter course were taken than is." l Travelling from place to place, the 
widest journeyings, even beyond the limits of Christendom, " under the 
leadings of the Lord," with special illumination as to the testimonies they 
should bear, was the mission of these enthusiasts. As they swayed and 
shivered under" the pent fires of their inspiration, they received in contumely 
the name of " Quakers." The prophet trembling from head to foot under his 
own burden of spirit often acted as a battery on those who listened to and 
looked on him. It can hardly be considered strange that the Puritan folk, in- 
disposed to take the word of these Quakers as to their special illumination and 
inspiration in uttering divine rebukes and warnings, regarded them simply 
as nuisances and firebrands. Their objurgatory denunciation of magistrates 
and ministers ; their bitter revilings ; their contempt of preaching and ordi- 
nances ; their dismal prophesying of awful divine judgments to come upon 
the colony in the black pox, in pestilences and all dreaded calamities; and 
their unseemly and indecent behavior, designed to have a symbolic mean- 
ing, exasperated those whom they denounced, beyond the limits of pa- 
tient endurance. Just a fortnight before the first two Quakers arrived in 
the Bay a Fast Day had been observed in the colony, in dread of them 
among other troubles. 

They were all of them of low rank, of mean breeding, and illiterate. A 
magistrate, in rebuking one of them, told him that if he was under " inspir- 
ation " he ought at least to use good grammar, " for Balaam's ass did that." 
Yet we may wonder whether the thought ever occurred to one of the Puri- 
tans, stung and goaded by the objurgations and indecency of the Quakers, 
that the wildest of them said nothing and did nothing for which he had not 
the full warrant and example in denunciatory speech and in symbolic 
meaning of the act of throwing off clothing and smearing the person of 

1 4 Mass. Hist. Coll., ii. 195. 


one or another of the Old Testament Prophets. Of these heaven-prompted 
and heaven-guided rebukers of sin and prophets of righteousness the Pur- 
itan read in his Bible with awe-stricken reverence. But a strict and exact 
imitation of them, in testimony and in uttering the " Burden of the Lord," 
roused the Puritan to anger and scorn. And why should it not have done so? 
The Puritans sincerely believed that they had come here under Divine guid- 
ance by a holy covenant to plant a city of God in the wilderness. The first 
generation of their seed was growing up under stern discipline. It was hardly 
reasonable to ask them to believe also that God was following them up to 
thwart and overwhelm them by sending in among them a company of erratic 
prophets, to revile them with all manner of invectives and reproaches against 
magistrates and churches, and with awful denunciations of judgments and 
catastrophes. This dread experience would be a repetition to them of what 
they read in the Gospel narrative, that " Jesus was led up by the Holy Spirit 
into the wilderness to be put to trial by the Evil Spirit." Nor was it of any 
use to quote Scripture to the Quakers, or to remind them of the Master's 
direction to those whom he sent on his work, " that if they were persecuted 
in one place they should flee to another." This was the very thing the 
Quakers would not do. They insisted upon being persecuted by staying 
where they knew they would be persecuted, and by returning over and over 
again if forcibly driven out. The Puritan being the extremest literalist in 
the interpretation of the Bible, with no skill or fancy in catching from it the 
gleams and enlargings of high spiritual insight, through which, not infre- 
quently, an illiterate Quaker would soar into realms of the loftiest and sere- 
nest truth, would turn away his ear from listening to what to him was blas- 
phemy. The Quaker, in his turn, was stiffened into reproach and daring 
defiance, by which he made himself an equally tormenting and damaging 
foe as he would have been if the energy and spite which he threw into his 
words had gone into his muscles and fists as a pugilist. Perhaps an ordinary 
reader of the minute details of the antagonism between our original Puritan- 
ism and Quakerism would find himself alternating between an amused feel- 
ing over the ludicrous incidents in the conflict, and pangs of profound regret 
over the wrong and passion which it involved. The issue presented seemed 
to have a resemblance to the mechanical problem of what will be the effect 
if an irresistible body strikes an immovable body. The Quakers, either of 
set purpose, or by the consistent working out of the mission to which they 
believed themselves divinely called, planted themselves on the resolve that, 
through whatever penalties of punishment, pain or death, the faithful dis- 
charge of their duty should lead them, they would break down the intolerant 
spirit of Puritanism. Not till they had done that would they keep silence 
from prophesying, or care much about selecting soft and gentle terms of 
utterance, or for staidness and inoffensiveness of demeanor. Candor will 
hardly go wide astray in judgment, if, using the light of those times to see 
by, and having in view the actual circumstances and the relations of parties, 
the blame and censure for what was done be equally apportioned between 


them. The crowning folly or iniquity in the course of the Puritans was in 
following up their penal inflictions, through banishments, imprisonments, 
fines, scourgings, and mutilations, to the execution on the gallows of four 
martyr victims. But what shall we say of the persistency, the exasperating 
contemptuousness and defiance, the goading, maddening obstinacy, and 
reproaching invectives of those who drove the magistrates, against their will, 
to vindicate their own insulted authority and to stain our annals with in- 
nocent blood? Cotton Mather called them an " enchanted people." 

The writer of these pages, after an exhaustive study of this episode 
of our history for another purpose, has been led to adopt this view of the 
equal folly and culpability of both parties in this dire tragedy. 1 Calm self- 
possession, indifference, or an exercise of patience on the part of the 
magistrates on the first appearance of these enthusiasts, or a forbearing, 
considerate, and gentle method adopted by those who believed they had a 
divine mission to discharge, would have averted the catastrophe. But these 
were the very graces and qualities which were on either side the most lack- 
ing. The authentic reports of " the ravings and blasphemies " associated 
with the " Ranters " in Old England made the magistrates alarmed by the 
exposure of their colony to peculiar perils from the presence of such an 
exciting and mischievous element, when it should manifest itself here. 
They were well aware that they had among their restless spirits inflamma- 
able material, and men and women whose Puritan and Biblical training had 
quickened them to an alert and inquisitive interest in controversy, specula- 
tion, and pious mysticisms. Their worst fears were realized when they 
found that the Quaker spirit was contagious and catching among a class 
of their own citizens. Indeed, it appears from the legislation and pro- 
ceedings of the authorities against the avowed Quakers, that their intent 
was as much or more to prevent the dissemination of their notions as to 
visit penalties upon the original utterers of them. The fervid "testimonies" 
and the stinging objurgations screamed out by the Quakers as they were 
led along the streets, or as they burst upon the assembly in the meeting- 
house, or engaged the ears of passers-by from between the bars of their 
prisons, were sure of meeting sympathy, secret or avowed, from occa- 
sional witnesses ; and this sympathy was often made deep and tender by the 
passive submissiveness and gentleness of the sufferers under barbarous cru- 
elties. The magistrates being on the alert for the intrusion of these dreaded 

1 [There were certainly some, though few, years after the decease of Cotton, had come from 

among the principal people who saw clearer than Ipswich to be his successor in the First Church, 

the rest what intolerance was accomplishing. 1656) had certainly removed one who exercised a 

Sir Richard Saltonstall, who watched the course baleful influence in the direction of intolerance, 

of events after his return to England, addressed He died of apoplexy, and the friends of the Quak- 

a manly letter of remonstrance to the two teach- ers, after the fashion of the day, pronounced it a 

ers of the Boston First Church. Bond, Water- judgment of the Lord. The entry in the Roxbury 

town, ii-4i6; Hutchinson, Papers, p. 401 ; Backus, church records of his sudden death is given in 

New England, i. 245. the JV. E. Hist, and Getieal. Keg., January, 1880, 

7" ^ n J*C(ffll>H The death, in 1663, of p. 89, and in July, 1859, an early pedigree owned 

John Norton (who, four by Prof. C. E. Norton of Cambridge En.] 



fanatics, easily rid themselves of the first of the sort, as they arrived by 
sea. They were retained on shipboard ; and the masters of vessels who 
brought them hither were compelled, under penalty, to carry them away. 


1 | The present representative of the family, 
Leverett Sallonstall, Esq., kindly furnished a 
photograph of the original portrait of his an- 
cestor by Rembrandt, from which this engraving 
is taken. It is in his possession. There are 
copies of it in the gallery of the Historical So- 
ciety and in Memorial Hall at Cambridge. It 

has been engraved on steel in Drake's Boston, 
p. 122, and elsewhere. Saltonstall came over 
with Winthrop, but returned to England the 
next year. He was born in 1586, and died about 
1658. The family descent is followed in the N. 
E. Hist, and Geiteal. Reg., 1847; Bond's Water 
tmvit ; and Drake's Boston, p. 68. ED. 


But very soon the pertinacious troublers found an access into the jurisdic- 
tion from Rhode Island, that harborage of all sorts of persons " unset- 
tled in judgement." Well would it have been for our magistrates if they 
had followed a hint conveyed to them, with sly humor, in the shrewd and 
sagacious reply of the authorities of Rhode Island to a request sent to them 
from Massachusetts for co-operating measures of repression and punish- 
ment against the Quakers. The answer was, that they had found that the 
Quakers were a sort of people that did affect persecution ; that they lived 
by inviting and provoking it; and that they had already come to loathe 
Rhode Island because they were allowed full liberty to vent their prophecy- 
ings and revelations. But, most unfortunately, our authorities thought and 
acted differently. They steadily pursued a course of increased severity and 
harshness in the penalties denounced and inflicted by their laws, though 
always ready and willing to suspend them, if the offenders would go away 
and stay away. But this was the very thing the Quakers, in avowed fidelity 
to conscience and their mission, would not do. It would be a weak and 
fatal concession to the fear of man, and a timid surrender of their solemn 
trust. Their patient resolve of spirit and their bitterness and provocative- 
ness of speech and behavior were alike stiffened and aggravated. They 
denounced the ministers as " Baal's priests; " " the seed of the Serpent; " 
" the brood of Ishmael," &c. Here is a description drawn by one of them 
of a church member: 

" A man that hath a covetous and deceitful rotten heart, lying lips, which abound 
among them, and a smooth, fawning, flattering tongue, and short hair, and a deadly en- 
mity against those that are called Quakers and others that oppose their wayes, such 
a hypocrite is a fit man to be a member of any N. England church." l 

The Thursday lecture in Boston was a solemn occasion, which drew the 
magistrates and people to listen to the words of their preacher. One may 
well imagine the consternation and rage attendant upon this incident, as 
related in one of the Quakers' Journals : 

" 13 th of 2 d Month, 1658. Sarah Gibbins and Dorothy Waugh spoke at Lector. 
Death fed Death, through the painted sepulchre John Norton " 1 [the minister]. 

The women proceeded to break two bottles over his head, " as a sign of 
his emptiness." 
And again : 

" J. Rons and H. Norton were moved to go to the great meeting-house at Boston 
upon one of their Lector days, where we found John Norton their teacher set up, who 
like a babling Pharisee run over a vain repetition near an hour long, like an impudent 
smooth fac'd harlot, who was telling her Paramoors a long fair story of her husband's 
kindness, while nothing but wantonness and wickedness is in her heart," &C. 1 

1 From a Quaker's journal, New England's Ensigne, &c., copied by the writer from the 
original in the British Museum. 


It may readily be allowed that the magistrates and ministers were, by no 
rule of reason or religion, under obligation to subject themselves to such 
effrontery and insult as this. And when such wild enthusiasts, generally 
women, appeared in the streets and meeting-houses in a state of nudity, or 
in ghostly sheets, with their faces smeared with black paint, "prophetically," 
the fright and horror of the spectacle might well justify the severest meas- 
ures to prevent its repetition. Among a people under the cloud of many 
superstitions and dreads, such exhibitions were portentous in causing hys- 
terical shocks and agonizing fears. Even about the beginning of the next 
century, Judge Sewall records the dismay and panic caused by the rushing 
in of such Quaker prophets into the assembly of the South Church. The 
magistrates of the earlier period, while personally exasperated almost 
beyond endurance, felt themselves stirred by the obligations of their trust 
to punish such desperate offenders. Leniency and tolerance, under the cir- 
cumstances, would have seemed to them a crime. Even the gentle-spirited 
Roger Williams, under a sore trial of his patience by the Quakers, allowed 
himself to write of them : " They are insufferably proud and contemptuous. 
I have, therefore, publicly declared myself that a due and moderate re- 
straint and punishment of these incivilities, though pretending conscience, 
is so far from persecution, properly so called, that it is a duty and com- 
mand of God unto all mankind, first in Families, and thence into all 
mankinde Societies." * 

Somewhere beneath the soil of Boston Common lie the ashes of four 
so-called Quakers, three men and one woman, who were cast into their 
rude graves after they had been executed on the gallows, between the 
years 1659 and i66i. 2 This death penalty was the culmination of the suc- 

1 George Fox digged out of his Bnrrowes. execution drew not a few Quakers into the 
There is a witticism in this title, referring to Bur- town, "bringing linen wherein to wrap the 
roughs, the companion and co-preacher with Fox. dead bodies," and " to look the bloody laws in 
[Coddington, who had been a Boston merchant, the face." There is in the Mass. Archives, x., 
having become one of the founders of Rhode a characteristic letter addressed to the Governor 
Island, was chosen its Governor, and adopted 

the tenets of the Quakers. He took exception ss 

to Williams's course in his controversy with f/f/fl 

Fox, and wrote a letter to Governor Leverett, 

complaining of the countenance he had given 

to Williams. Leverett wrote a reply. 

Neither of these letters is known to . 

be extant. Williams, having seen this JL r ^7\. _ ^. 7)^*- _ 

correspondence, wrote an "Answer," Qjofrffft 2. ( &fl "V /{/ f L /-^~ 

which was printed in Boston by " ' 

John Foster. This has been reprinted in the from two women, and dated " from your house 

R. I. Hist. Soc. Proc. 1875-76. There are letters, of correction, where we have been unjustly 

&c., of Williams's in Ibid. 1877-78. ED.] restrained." It was on the occasion of this ex- 

2 [The crowd of North-enders was so great ecution that Mary Dyer sat on the gallows with 
returning from two of these executions, Oct. 27, a rope about her neck while the others were 
1659, when William Robinson and Marmaduke swung off. She was sent out of the jurisdiction, 
Stevenson were hung, that the drawbridge on but, returning the next June, finally suffered the 
Ann Street (now North Street), over the canal last penalty. There is in the Mass. Archives, x., 
which made the North End an island, fell a petition from her husband, W. Dyer, asking 
through under the weight. Strange to say, the that his wife may be spared. Dr. Ellis prints it 

VOL. I. 24. 

1 86 


cessive inflictions to which Puritan legislation vainly had recourse to be rid 
of an intolerable plague. It was denounced upon such as, returning a fourth 
time after punishment and banishment, refused, even when on the gallows, 
to keep their lives on condition that they would not again obtrude them- 
selves where they were so unwelcome. Their refusal to comply with this 
condition convinced the magistrates, who " desired their lives absent rather 
than their deaths present," that " they courted death and thrust themselves 
upon it." Some readers may find relief in the fact that, even after the long 
trial of the patience of the magistrates, the infliction of the death penalty 
was effected only by the vote of a bare majority of the Court, and was most 
vehemently opposed by earnest remonstrances from some of the best peo- 
ple. 1 Our historian, Hutchinson, rightly balances " the strange delusion 
the Quakers were under in courting persecution, and the imprudence of the 
authorities in gratifying this humor as far as their utmost wishes could carry 
them." One may all the more regret the heady temper, the rancor, and 
the violence shown on either side, because the parties were so admirably 

in his Lowell lecture on " The Treatment of In- Hist, and Geneal. Keg. v. 465 ; Drake's Boston, 
truders and Dissentients," p. 123. Her story is p. 345. An account of Upsall, with a view of the 
told in Anderson's Memorable Women of Puritan 
Times. A posthumous tract by Marmaduke 
Stevenson, entitled A Call from Death to Life, 
London, 1660, is one of the rarities of Americana. 

Cf. Mcnzies Catalogue, No. 1,903, and Brinley 

stone on his grave in the Copp's 1 1 ill 
i^ burial-ground, is given in the N. 
E. Hist, and Geneal. Keg., January, 
1880. There is in the Mass. Ar- 
chives, x., a petition from his wife 
Dorothy, his son-in-law William 
Greenough, and Upsall's children, 
asking for the revoking of the decree of banish- 
ment. The Court refused it. Mr. Rowland II. 
Allen, in his New England Tragedies in Prose, 

Catalogue, No. 3,571. It has appended to it two 
letters from Peter Pearson, giving " a brief re- 
lation of the manner of the martyrdom " of 
Stevenson and Robinson. It is noted in the 
Sewall Papers, 5. 82, 91, that in 1685 the Quak- 
ers asked permission "to enclose the ground 
the hanged Quakers are buried in, under or near 
the gallows, with pales." It was denied " as very 
inconvenient ; " but nevertheless a " few feet of 
ground was enclosed with boards." Eo.J 

1 [Longfellow makes the Governor express 
this aversion in his John Endicott: 

" Four already have been slain ; 
And others banished upon pain of death. 
But they come back again to meet their doom, 
Bringing the linen for their winding sheets. 
We must not go too far. In truth I shrink 
From shedding of more blood. The people murmur 
At our severity." 

But Endicott was the most bitter and persistent 
advocate of extreme measures. The Nicholas 
Upsall of this tragedy, who was imprisoned and 
banished for harboring Quakers, was a veritable 
citizen, whose blood still runs among us. N. E. 

Boston, 1869, has followed out the historical in- 
cidents which Longfellow weaves into his plot. 
Hawthorne uses these Quaker persecutions as 
the basis of his " Gentle Boy," one of his Twice 
Told Tales. Ei).| 


I8 7 

qualified for testing their issues by disputation and the tongue. Richard 
Baxter foiled the weapon of one very persistent Quaker, who had been 
arguing that all men were illumined by the inner light, by asking the 
question, "If all have it, why may not I have it?" 

What would have been the final working out of the pitched conflict 
between Quaker contumacy and Puritan persistency, had they been left to 
the action of their own energies without the intervention of an external 
mediating agency, it would hardly have been difficult for any but the most 
resolute and stern of the magistrates to have forecast. The Quakers would 
have conquered by simple endurance. Their weapons were what in the 
immediate future were to be recognized as vital and effective truths. But 
one of the sufferers having gone to England and gained access to Charles 
II. brought back from the monarch a peremptory command that the death 
penalty against the Quakers should be no more inflicted, and that those who 
were under judgment or in prison should be sent to England for trial. 2 The 
King's interference with the stern rule of the Puritan Commonwealth also 
involved the immediate removal of the restriction of the franchise to church- 
members, and its extension to all citizens who were in other respects entitled 
to it. The Court, however, managed to evade the concession here required 
of them, by substituting conditions which substantially retained the rigid 

1 [It is not worth while here to follow out 
the bibliographical intricacies of the literature 
of these Quaker persecutions. The reader is 
referred to Dr. H. M. Dexter's Bibliography of 
Congregationalism ; J. Smith's Catalogue of 
Friends' Books ; and some of the rarer books 
noted in the Brinley Catalogue, ii. 100. Of the 
older books, G. Bishop's New England Judged, 
Part I., 1661, and Part II., 1667, both parts 
with additions, 1703, of which a copy, with many 
other of the Quaker productions, is in the pos- 
session of Dr. Ellis, puts the Quakers' side, 
while the Boston minister, . John Norton, on 
whom the burden of the unhappy conflict fell, 
in behalf of the churches offered their apology 
in his Heart of New England rent at the Blas- 
phemies of the Present Generation, Cambridge, 
1659, a book published by authority and at 
the public charge, and for which the Court made 
him a grant of land. Not much reading on either 
side is edifying, and the joint production of John 
Kous and others, New England a Degenerate 
/'/iiiif, London, 1659, is worth attention chiefly 
for its record of the laws and proceedings of the 
colonies against the Quakers. We also owe to 
Rous, Fox, and others another harrowing narra- 
tive of their sufferings, printed in London in 
1659, as The Secret IVorkes of a Cruel People. 
Their own later chroniclers always cover these 
New England experiences, as in William Sewel's 
History of the Quakers, 1722, &c., fourth and fifth 
books, and Jos. Besse' s Sufferings of the People 

called Quakers, London, 1753, each depending 
largely on G. Bishop's book ; and such more recent 
works as Janney's Hist, of the Friends, \. ch. xiii.- 
xv., and Cough's Quakers, ch. xiv. Our New Eng- 
land historians all follow the story with more 
or less consideration for the authorities. Hub- 
bard, New England, ch. Ixv. ; Mather, Magnalia, 
vii. ch. iv. ; Hutchinson, Mass. Bay; Bancroft, 
United States, i. ch. x., ii. ch. xvi., and centenary 
edition, i. ch. x. ; Palfrey, New England, ii. 452, 
a careful account with some detail ; Bryant 
and Gay, United States, ii. ch. viii. and ix. ; 
Barry, Massachusetts, \. ch. xiii. ; P. W. Chand- 
ler, American Criminal Trials, i., with an ap- 
pendix of documents ; Dexter, As to Roger 
Williams, pp. 105, 124, &c. Dr. Ellis has written 
a history of the subject, which is still in manu- 
script. ED.] 

2 [Dr. Palfrey, Hist, of New England, ii. 519, 
says: "The resolution to abstain from further 
capital punishments had been taken some months 
before, though the magistrates, perhaps, were not 
indisposed to appeal to the King's injunction, rather 
than avow a change of judgment on their own 
part" The letter of the King was intrusted to 
one Samuel Shattuck, who had been banished, 
and he, with other Quakers, arrived in Boston 
in 1661. One of the disturbers at least, Win- 
lock Christison, recanted a little too <arly, 
or he might have enjoyed the triumph of his 
release without so satisfying the magistrates as 
he did. - Ko.] 

1 88 


method of securing the ballot. On this point the vital and all-essential 
security of their original polity they were soon compelled to yield, because 

the royal mandate was reinforced by so strong 
a party of the uncovenanted non-voters within 
the colony insisting upon their rights. Not till 
the provincial was substituted for the colonial 
charter was the spell of the Puritan domina- 
tion effectually broken; and then the Puri- 
tan Commonwealth was prostrated. The sur- 
vival from it in tradition, in influence, in the 
sway of manifold habits and customs, and in 
the lessons of childhood retaining their power 
over those who lived to advanced age, per- 
petuated very much of its austere and char- 

s^ /^ r\ acteristic qualities in this community. Nor 

/ \\P -fc -v- ^ ' \ even in these days, among the mixed and 
r\ >j ^vi^ A diversified elements of our population and 

M^ S! rv^ y^A- j a U tne relaxing and liberalizing results of the 

most radical social change, is the fire in the 
ashes of Puritanism wholly extinguished. 

It may have been well that, in the train and 
succession of the experimentings on the theory 
of the model for planting a State, secure arid 
prosperous, what we regard now as fundamen- 
tally an erroneous and impracticable one 
was so thoroughly tested. An earnest 
and lofty purpose, demanding high vir- 
tues, zeal, self-consecration, and stern 
fidelity could alone have prompted the 
master spirits of this colony, and sus- 
tained them under the exactions of their 
enterprise. They were, for their time, 
intelligent and wise men ; and by the 
best standards of any age their char- 
acters in their intents and aims of 
integrity, sincerity, devoutness, and un- 
selfishness must be adjudged to have 
been elevated and pure. They showed 
heroic powers of endurance; they were 
simple and frugal in their mode of life ; 
" they scorned delights and lived labori- 
ous days ; " and in their generation, more 
resolutely and disinterestedly than any 
other community of men and women known to us, they had regard, in all 
that they devised and did, far more for the welfare and advantages of their 




4$ v 


^* V. 





* N 



posterity than for their own. How far their erroneous and impracticable 
experiment of constructing a State from a Church was the consequence or the 
cause of the limitations of wisdom, the superstitions, and the errors which 
appear in their policy, it might be difficult fairly to decide. Their thorough 
trial of what proved to be an impracticable theory may help to reconcile 
us to all the risks and exposures of our present system, which recognizes 
only secular interests. Large allowance should be made by us for what was 
so ungenial, gloomy, and repulsive in the Puritan character, as manifested dur- 
ing the brief period of intolerance and severity in their history, on the score 
of the harshness and rudeness of the circumstances under which the first 
generation born on the soil grew into life. The first comers had sweet and 
tender memories of dear old England. Their children had none of these. 
Their childhood was not nursed on milk. They saw no games or pageants, 
no holidays or festivals, no gray old churches or ivy-clad castles. They had 
no picture-books or romances. The shadows of the wilderness hung over 
them, and the ways through it were lonely and full of terrors. A som- 
bre domestic discipline saddened their years of subjection. The weariness 
of their long day-tasks was compensated by no evening jollities. These 
sober and grave influences clouded their lives, and passed into maturer 
austerities in their characters. Religion had to them more of frights and 
bugbears than of fair visions and sweet solaces. The charter of the colony 
assigned the terms for holding its Courts, as " Hilary, Easter, Trinity, and 
Michaelmas." But only in the charter, not elsewhere in the records, do 
those words and the things and associations of which they are the symbols 
appear. The children grown here never heard them. The dispensation of 
religion to them offered them lessons above their comprehension, divested of 
all attractions in the mode of their teaching, dry, dreary, and saddening. 

There is an offset of a generous and grateful character to be made for all 
that is just in the severity of censure visited upon these Puritan legislators 
for their narrowness and bigotry, their rigid and harsh austerity against those 
who disturbed their peace, and yet so patiently suffered the penalties of 
their protests, their dissent, and their heresies. These disturbers were dealt 
with as enthusiasts and fanatics, at a time and under circumstances of dread 
experience that made enthusiasm and fanaticism most alarming in their 
impulses, methods, and tendencies, as destructive of domestic, social, and 
civil order. But while the Puritan outlook was narrow in that direction, it 
was broad and generous in another. They did not stand as champions of 
ignorance, indifference, or the conservatism of prejudice and error. While 
we call them superstitious, we have to remind ourselves that there was noth- 
ing to them more odious or debasing than what they themselves, by the 
degree of their enlightenment, had come to regard as superstition. This 
they identified with ignorance and folly. And it was because of this that 
the Puritans came nearer than any other class of religionists to making an 
idol of knowledge, of the exercise of mental freedom and vigor, and of the 
education of the young. The unrest of Puritanism, its constant labor to 


verify and certify its fundamentals of doctrine and dispensation, kept the 
intellect in full vigor, and prompted the inquisitive spirit which gradually 
released it from a slavish bondage. Certain it is, that wherever in Christen- 
dom we trace the presence and influence of the doctrinal system and disci- 
pline characteristic of Puritanism, as in Geneva, Holland, Scotland, Old 
and New England, we find tokens of intellectual vigor in the commanding 
minds of statesmen, scholars, and men of affairs. And consequent upon 
this quality has been their noble zeal to promote education, knowledge, 
learning, in all their ranges, so that their elevating influence may be shared 
by all classes of the people. The college planted in the wilderness by the 
magistrates of Boston, and the system of common schools provided by 
the Court of the Puritan colony, attest that its founders recognized in edu- 
cation the only safeguard of liberty. They would not have dreaded lest 
freedom in thought and policy should exceed due restraints, provided only 
that they could anticipate and guide its development by true enlightenment. 
It is easy to reconcile the professed heavenly-mindedness of the Puritans 
with their manifest regard for worldly thrift. They confessedly recognized 
the mundane virtues ; and we, their posterity, share largely in the account 
of their having done so. There was candor as well as shrewdness in the 
avowal made by the patriarch White for our colonists, that " nothing sorts 
better with Piety than Competency," a truth which the prophet Agur 
had, long before their day, uttered by inspiration. 

As to the character of the community, the qualities and habits of the 
people; the tone of daily life; the relations between individuals and 
classes ; the public and private virtues, with the offset of evils and errors, 
which especially manifested themselves in this Puritan Commonwealth in 
anything peculiar and distinctive, it would require more space than can 
here be given for a fair exposition of the subject. One might be prompted 
to institute a comparison, either in general terms or in details, with other 
contemporary colonial communities where quite other than Puritan princi- 
ples and usages controlled the religious, civil, and social life of the people. 
This, too, would take us beyond our limits. Had this old town of Boston, 
with the surrounding municipalities which are essentially its offshoots, 
been left to a natural process of development by modifications working 
from within of its original elements, and an increase of its homogeneous 
stock by generations, keeping its homogeneous character, we might then 
have been able to trace and define our essential Puritan heritage in its pres- 
ent fruitage. The flood of foreign immigration which has poured in upon 
us since the beginning of this century has vastly qualified, though it has 
not neutralized, the original qualities of the old stock. We must reconcile 
ourselves to any regrets over a promising but arrested development from 
our heritage by gratefully recognizing its attractiveness for aliens. 



Minister of King's Chapel. 

THE noble vision of the Puritan Commonwealth, compacted of souls 
united in faith and doctrine, in which Church and State should be 
substantially one, proved impracticable before the first generation of the 
Puritans had begun to pass from the stage. It has been related in a for- 
mer chapter 1 how the successive controversies with the followers of Mrs. 
Hutchinson, with the Baptists, and with the Quakers, demonstrated more 
and more clearly the impossibility of such a permanent accord of the whole 
population on religious questions as was vitally necessary for the perman- 
ence of the Theocracy. The fixedness with which the policy of repression 
was pursued until the English Government interfered, although ineffectual 
to do more than postpone the religious disintegration which nothing could 
ultimately prevent, had one further effect of immense importance. It 
secured time to impress on the community a marked character which two 
centuries since elapsing, with all their modifications of faith and of the 
population, have not been able to efface. During nearly half a century 
the Puritan spirit had exercised an unrestricted sway, while the new com- 
munity was hardening from gristle into bone. The Boston of 365,000 
inhabitants to-day, with its mingling of many races and all religions and no 
religion, is marked profoundly by its inheritances from the temper, spirit, 
and belief of the Boston which, at the close of the seventeenth century, was 
a little town of less than 7,000 souls. 

The period of forcible repression of dissent from the Established Church 
of New England was succeeded by a period in which the Protestant bodies 
gained a firm and recognized footing in Boston. The history of the succes- 
sive steps by which this was established, much against the will and to the 
sore reluctance of the dominant powers, is of course less picturesque and 
exciting than the chapter of punishments, oppositions, and even martyr- 
doms in which the Quaker and the Baptist conquered by enduring. It is, 
however, an important chapter in the history of Boston, and interesting not 
only as a chapter of ecclesiastical antiquities, but as illustrating how, in the 
1 [Chap. III., by Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D.] 


field of this narrow peninsula, the victory of a policy of religious tolerance 
was established as a fact for all New England. 

The growth of the town in numbers had necessitated the organization of 
a second church in 1650. For twenty years the "Old Meeting-house" 
had accommodated the whole population. 

No record exists of the first occupation of the Second Church, which 
was built of wood at the North End (North Square), and thence derived 
the name, the " North Church," by which it was usually known. 1 This part 
of the town held at this time about thirty householders, and there was 
prospect of a speedy increase. The first sermon in the new house was 
preached June 5, 1650. The services were conducted by one of the 
brethren, Michael Powell, till 1655, when the Rev. John Mayo was ordained 
as its first minister. The splendid roll of its ministers gave it a special dis- 
tinction : it has been called " the Church of the Mathers," four of its early 
pastors having belonged to that family, who held the pulpit for seventy- 
three out of the first ninety-one years of the church. 

But the era of peace within the Puritan ecclesiastical community was 
now to be rudely broken. 

Of the third church gathered in Boston, Rev. Dr. Wisner 2 says: "Like 
too many other churches of Christ, it originated in bitter contentions among 
those who are bound by their profession, as well as by the precept of 
heaven, to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." These 
contentions " were not local or of sudden production, but originated in the 
first ecclesiastical institutions of the country, and were spread through the 
whole of New England." 

The limitation of the political franchise to those who were church- 
members, made by an order of the second General Court in 1631, 
continued in effect until the Charter Government was dissolved, since even 
after it was apparently repealed at the urgency of King Charles II., in 1664, 
a certificate was required from the ministers to the " orthodox principles " 
and good lives of candidates for freedom. From the beginning, a consider- 
able and ever increasing number of inhabitants were disfranchised by this 
test; many of the children of the early settlers could not satisfy the tests 
for admission to the church when they grew up ; and as baptism could not 
be had for the children of those who were not church-members, a genera- 
tion arose who were largely excluded alike from religious and civil privi- 
leges. An earnest effort, led by Robert Child and others, was made in 
1646, by a petition to the General Court, "that civil liberty and freedom 
might be forthwith granted to all truly English ; and that all members of 
the Church of England or Scotland, not scandalous, might be admitted 
to the privileges of the churches of New England." The petitioners, who 

1 It was burned in 1676, but soon rebuilt. Brick Church in Hanover St., retaining the name 

This later edifice, though in a condition to last and records of the Second Church, 

many years longer, was destroyed for fuel by the 2 History of the Old South Church in Bos- 

King's troops during the siege of Boston in 1775. ton, 1830, p. 4. We have largely followed Dr. 

The congregation then united with the New Wisner's account of this controversy. 


threatened to appeal to the Parliament of England, and who represented 
a wide-spread discontent, were denied, their papers seized, and themselves 
fined ; while the political troubles in the mother-country rendered all 
appeal hopeless. 1 

But a grievance so well grounded could not be permanently repressed. 
The growing sentiment that " all baptized persons, not scandalous in life 
and formally excommunicated, ought to be considered members of the 
church in all respects except the right of partaking of the Lord's Supper," 
though strenuously opposed by lovers of the old way, finally induced the 
Court of Massachusetts to call a General Council in 1657, which met at 
Boston, delegates from Connecticut also taking part. This Council deter- 
mined that those who had been baptized in infancy were therefore to be 
regarded as members of the church, and entitled to its privileges, with 
the exception of the Lord's Supper, including baptism for their children. 
Such an innovation on the earlier practice roused yet more bitter opposi- 
tion. A second Synod was obliged to be held in 1662, at which this 
decision was substantially reaffirmed. Vigorous protest was, however, 
made by some of the most eminent pastors, who published writings in 
opposition ; and among them Rev. John Davenport of New Haven, " the 
greatest of the anti-synodists." The churches of Massachusetts were 
divided among themselves, whether to receive or reject conclusions of the 
Synod. In the First Church of Boston, while a majority favored them, 
the influence of their pastor, the venerated Wilson, preserved the peace. 
His death, Aug. 7, 1667, at the age of seventy-nine, 2 left a vacancy which 
was filled by the choice of Mr. Davenport, then seventy years old. The 
prominent position of this eminent man as 
an advocate of the stricter side in the con- *r 
troversy which was agitating New England * 

occasioned the most earnest opposition to his settlement. The church was 
divided, the former minority becoming the majority. Mr. Davenport 
accepted their call and came to Boston, where he died little more than a 
year after beginning his ministry. 3 But the dissatisfied minority did not 

1 [Beside Child, William Vassal! and Sam- ministers of Christ, rested from his labors and 
uel Maverick were engaged in this movement, sorrowes, beloved and lamented of all, and very 
Drake, Boston ; Sumner, East Boston ; Win- honourably interred y e day following." N. E. 
throp, New England, &c. Cf. Colonel Aspin- Hist, and Geneal. Reg., July, 1880, p. 297. Seethe 
wall on "William Vassall no factionist," in genealogy in the Heraldic Journal, ii. 182. ED.] 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1863. ED.] 3 [Davenport died March n, 1670, and lies 

2 [A daughter of Wilson married the Rev. buried in the Chapel burial ground, nearly oppo- 
Samucl Danforth of Roxbury, and their son, the site where he lived on Tremont Street, on an 
Rev. John Danforth, was the minister of Dor- estate that remained for many years in the pos- 
chester, 1682-1730. The former thus records session of the First Church, and where several 
Wilson's death in his church records: "7'ii6 m - of Davenport's successors lived. Drake, Land- 
67. About two of y e clock in y e Morning, my marks, p. 55. The Roxbury records make this 
honoured Father, M r John Wilson, Pastour to mention of his death: "?g, i m , 13. M r John 
y= Church of Boston, aged about 78 yeares and Davenport was taken with y c dead palsey on y e 
a half, a man eminent in Faith, love, humility, right side, and 2 days after, viz. on y e is th - of y e 
self-denyal, prayer, soundnes of minde, zeal for first moneth, died, and was buried on y e 22 d of 
God, liberality to all men, esp'ly to y e s ts and y e same. Aged 73." N. E. Hist, and Geneal. 

VOL. I. 25. 


rest here. 1 Twenty-eight in number, with one member of the Charlestown 
Church, they met at Charlestown, probably to avoid, by holding their 
meeting in another county, the law which required that the magistrates 
should be consulted before forming another church. Their application to 
the First Church to be dismissed for this purpose was refused, whereupon 
they called a council of other churches, by whose advice they organized 
themselves in due form as the "Third Church in Boston." Thomas 
Thacher became their first minister in February, 1670. The publication 
of protests and counter-protests enlisted the whole colony on one side or 
the other, as it was seen that " the favorers of the old church were against 
the Synod, and those of the new church were for it." 

Nor was the opposition confined to words. It is probable that the 
"imprisoning of parties" to which a letter of Randolph refers indicates 
that the members of the new church were punished in this way for their 
proceeding without consent of the authorities. Governor Bellingham being 
strenuous for the First Church, of which he was a member, summoned his 
Council to prohibit the erection of the new meeting-house. The Council, 


however, was unwilling to take this extreme ground, and the consent of the 
selectmen of Boston being obtained to the erection of " another Meeting- 
House in this town," the Third Church was built on what is now the corner 
of Washington and Milk streets. The land for the purpose was given by 
Madam Norton, who, though the widow of a former minister of the First 
Church, was in warm sympathy with the seceders from it. 

The dissension agitated the " House of Deputies," who, in 1670, adopted 
a report from " a committee to inquire into the prevailing evils which had 
been the cause of the displeasure of God against the land," explicitly con- 
demning the transaction by which the new church was constituted, " as 
irregular, illegal, and disorderly." But the next election reversed this 

Reg , July, 1 880, p. 300. A History and Genealogy four Churches" was called, and "their advice 

of the Davenport Family, New York, 1851, traces was to dismiss them in order to y c propagtio. of 

his ancestry and descendants, and a tabular another church in Boston." N. E. Hist, and 

pedigree is given in the N. E. Hist, and Cental. Gcncal. /V; r , July, iSSo, p. 299. The Synod and 

Reg.'vx.. 146. ED.] the "half-way Covenant," as it was called, are 

1 [It appears from an entry by Danforth in discussed learnedly by Dr. Dexter in his Con- 

the Roxbury church records, that " a Council of gregationalism as sen in its Literature. Eu.] 


action, and the new General Court, being chosen with reference to this 
very question, adopted a contrary vote by a decisive majority. 

The troubled waters, however, subsided but slowly. The old church 
refused to have any ecclesiastical relations with its rebellious daughter. 
Three times it denied dismission to the wives of the brethren who had 
withdrawn to form the new church, who naturally wished to follow their 
husbands ; nor was it until the forebodings of an .invasion of the ecclesi- 
astical unity of New England by the dreaded Episcopacy of the mother- 
country grew into certainty, that the breach was healed. In May, 1682, 
Edward Randolph wrote to the Bishop of London : 

" We have in Boston one Mr. Willard, a minister, brother to Major Dudley ; he is 
a moderate man, and baptizeth those who are refused by the other churches, for 
which he is hated. There was a great difference between the old church and the 
members of the new church about baptisme and their members joyning in full com- 
munion with either church ; this was soe high that there was imprisoning of parties 
and great disturbances, but now, heereing of my proposals for ministers to be sent 
over, . . . they are now joyned together, about a fortnight ago, and pray to God to 
confound the devices of all who disturbe their peace and liberties." 1 

It has been already related how 2 the period of active persecution of 
obnoxious modes of faith had closed : the two heresies which had been 
most strenuously resisted, the Baptist and the Quaker, had rooted them- 
selves in the soil, in spite of all opposition. The former built a place of 
worship in 1680, which, though closed for a time by order of the General 
Court, was soon peaceably occupied. 3 The Quakers had a regular place 
of meeting as early as 1677, and in 1697 they erected the first meeting- 
house built of brick in Boston, on a lot in Brattle Street. 4 The Society of 
Friends continued in considerable numbers until after the Revolution, but 
then greatly diminished, so much that soon after, the beginning of this 
century they ceased to hold regular meetings. 

But bitter to the strict followers of " the old way " as were these indica- 
tions of the relaxing Puritanism, 5 the rooting of the Church of England here 
was most bitter of all. 

The people of the sturdy Puritan stock are not blameworthy for desiring to 
keep the country of their own way of belief, if they could. For nearly half a 
century they had had the opportunity to grow far toward an independent na- 

1 llutchinson, Coll. of Papers, ii. 271. their minister. He had a pamphlet controversy 

2 See Chap. III. on the commo- 

8 [The first organized meetings of the Bap- tionsof the time {/fflilH. 

tists were held on Noddle's Island, and in 1666 with Samuel ^/ 

Henry Shrimpton left jio to these quiet wor- Willard of the 

shippers. Sumner, East Boston, pp. 115, 191; South Church. 

Snow, Boston, ch. xxvi. ; Drake, Boston, p. 379; En.] 
Backus, History, &c., i. 399; Palfrey, AVro Eng- * They removed in 1708 to Congress Street, 

land, iii. 91; Dr. Neale's Discourse on the two and about 1827 to Milton Place, 
hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the 5 The formation of the Church in Brattle Sq. 

first Baptist Church. John Russell, after suffer- was a memorable advance in the same direction, 

ing imprisonment and other tribulations, became but the history of this falls in a later chapter. 



tion on that ecclesiastical basis, and the presence of the Church of England 
would be a perpetual sign that this state of things was ended. Nor is it 
strange that they feared many evils from the admission of the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer which never came to pass. But they resolutely shut their eyes 
to the fact that there were those among them who had an equal right with 
themselves to such religious institutions as they might choose. 1 The Church 
of England had the misfortune to be, in the estimation of the mass of Ncw- 
Englanders, a part of the tyranny of the Stuarts. If it had been more free 
from such associations, perhaps they would have feared and hated it less, 
nor would some of its earliest promoters have been so zealous in its behalf. 

The controversy in the reign of Charles II. could only end in one way. 
Englishmen must surely have the rights of Englishmen in an English 
colony, and among these none was dearer to some than the right to worship 
God according to the hallowed and familiar form established in England itself. 
Yet although there were not a few in Boston who desired it, " most of the 
inhabitants," says Hutchinson, "who were upon the stage in 1686 had never 
seen a Church of England Assembly." Edward Randolph discovered in his 
first visit here in 1676 that there were laws forbidding the observance of 
" Christmas day or any like festivity," " the solemnization of marriage by any 
person but a Magistrate," and confining the suffrage to church-members, as 
well as on other points which contravened the Royal prerogative. The 
result partly of Randolph's persistency in his frequent crossings of the 
ocean, and partly of the King's own growing certainty of the intractable 
stubbornness of the people with whom he had to deal, was a steady pressure 
on our ancestors to alter their laws in these regards. In November, 1678, 
the General Court appointed a Fast Day, to beseech the Lord " that he will 
not take away his holy gospel, and it be his good will yet to continue our 
liberties civil and ecclesiastical to us and our children after us." The times 
were dark indeed for them, Charles Stuart on the throne, and they too 
weak to resist him with open war. 

" The thoughtful observer," says Dr. Greenwood,. " will mark the strange 
processes by which the human mind is often forced to the most simple and 
excellent conclusions. He will see arbitrary power from another country 
contending against arbitrary power here, and the results of these conflicting 
and angry authorities to be toleration, liberty, and peace." 2 

In 1679 a number of persons residing in Boston petitioned the King 
" that a Church might be allowed them for the exercise of religion accord- 
ing to the Church of England." Not until 1681 was the law which forbade 
the keeping of Christmas repealed. In 1685 Sewall wrote in his diary, 
" X r - 25, Friday. Carts come to Town, and Shops open as is usual: some 
somehow observe y 6 day ; but are vex'd I believe that y- Body of y e People 
profane it, and blessed be God no authority yet to compell them to keep it." 

1 Lechford, in 1644, says that one sixth of the population were church-members ; Randolph, in 
1 686. states the numlier at one tenth. 
- Greenwood, A'in:fs C/iafel, p. 14. 


In those four years events had marched fast in Boston, and on the other 
side of the water. 

Edward Randolph, " his shuttle of mischief being," in 1682, on this " side 
of the ocean, still working in its loom of hate and revenge," l doubtless, 
also, of loyalty to King and Church, after the high-handed fashion of loyalty 
with which such a man would serve a Stuart king, wrote two letters to 
the Bishop of London, urging measures to establish the Church of England 
here. z 

" In my attendance on your lordship, I often exprest that some able ministers 
might be appoynted to performe the officies of the church with us. The maine 
obstacle was how they should be maintayned. I did formerly and doe now propose, 
that a part of that money sent over hither, and pretended to bee expended among the 
Indians, may be ordered to goe towards that charge. . . . Since wee are here im- 
mediately under your lordship's care, I with more freedome press for able and sober 
ministers, and wee will contribute largely to their maintenance ; but one thing will 
mainely helpe, when no marriages hereafter shall be allowed lawfull but such as are 
made by the ministers of the Church of England." 

And July 14, i682, 3 besides urging the bringing a quo warranto against 
the Massachusetts charter, to " disenable many ... of the faction . . . 
from acting further in a public station," he says : 

" Wee have advice ... that your lordship hath remembered us and sent over a 
minister with Mr. Cranfield ; . . . the very report hath given great satisfaction to many 
hundreds whose children are not baptized, and to as many who never, since they came 
out of England, received the sacraments. ... If we are misinformed concerning 
your lordship's sending over a minister, be pleased to commiserate our condition, and 
send us over a sober, discreet gentleman. Your lordship hath now good security, as 
long as their agents are in England, for his civil treatment by the contrary party ; he 
will be received by all honest men with hearty respects and kindness, and if his maj- 
esty's laws (as none but fanatics question) be of force with us, we could raise a suffi- 
cient maintenance for clivers ministers out of the estates of those whose treasons have 
forfeited them to his majesty." 

No wonder that good Mr. Sewall and the rest of his Puritan fellow-wor- 
shippers with him looked darkly on the man who was busy among them 
with such thoughts as these. For though they could not read his thoughts 
or the letters which their descendants can read, they knew him as one who 
hated their ways and looked on them as more than half rebels, and who met 
their resolute wills against high prerogative in Church and Crown with a 
will every whit as resolute as theirs. Still the "sober and discreet" minister 
did not come. Randolph wrote again, and described the religious condition 
of the country at this time : 

1 This phrase is quoted from an unpublished z Hutchinson, Pafers, ii. 271, May 29, 1682. 

Lowell Institute Lecture by Rev. George E. 8 Hutchinson, Papers, ii. 280. Randolph to 

Ellis, D.D. Bishop of London. 


" New Eng w is devided into 7 small colonyes or Gouernm 15 , at present managed 
by men of weake and inconsiderable parts ; most of them hauing different Lavves and 
methods of executing them. They are devided into Presbyterians, Independants, ana- 
bptists, quakers, seauenth day men : who are some of them in all goverm ts : such 
of the Church of England tho' the cheife men and of good parts not appearing soe till 
a regulation in governm' from hence directed. Our cheife colony is that of Boston, 
made so by a continuall concourse of people from all parts ; they driue a great trade in 
y e world, and in deed give Lawes to all the rest ; here all is managed by their Clergye, 
without whom the magistrates venture not to act, as in the late example of this gov' 
upon receipt of his ma ties letter, &5. Here noe children are baptized but the children 
of Church members : some giue a larger latitude and admitt the gran-children of C. 
members, others the children of such who own the church and promise to Hue vnder 
their watch. 

" But none in any of the colonyes are admitted to the Eucharist but as are in full 
communion. All are obliged, by one way or other to maintaine the ministry : some by 
weekly contributions in their meeting-houses ; Anabaptists and Quakers pay not vnder 
that notion, but are rated in towne rates, which also is really for that intent." l 

Randolph went and came again. Meantime, in the neighboring domain 
of New Hampshire a governor less able than Randolph and Andros, but as 
overbearing and resolute to crush out opposition in State and Church, was 
illustrating before the observant watch of the Massachusetts colony what 
they might expect when their turn should come. In the intervals of Ran- 
dolph's absence from New England, Governor Cranfield supplied fresh fuel 
for the flame. 

" Touching Ecclesiasticall matters," he wrote, " the attempting to settle y e way of y" 
Church of England I perceive wilbe very grievous to y e people, However M r Mason 
asserted y' their Inclinacons were m ch y l way. I have observed them to be very 
dilig* and devout in attending on y* mode of worship w" h they have been brought up 
in, and hath been so long settled among them and seem to be very tenacious of it, and 
are very thankfull for His Maj sties Gracious Indulgence in those matters." 2 

Governor Cranfield wrote again : 

"... Tis my humble opinion, that it will be absolutely necessary to admit no 
person into any place of Trust, but such as take y e Sacrament and are conformable 
to the Rites of the Church of England, for others will be so influenced by their Min- 
isters as well obstruct the good Settlement, of this place, and I utterly dispair (as I 
writt in my former to yo r Lordps) of any true duty and obedience paid to his Maj' y untill 
their Colledge be supprest and their Ministers silenced, for they are not only Enimies 
to his Maj ty and Government, but Christ himself, for of all the Inhabitants of this Prov- 
ince, being about ffour Thousand in number, not above Three Hundred Christned by 
reason of their Parents not being Members of their Church. I have been this 16 
Months perswading the Ministers to admitt all to the Sacrament and Baptisme, that were 
not vitious in their lives, but could not prevaile upon them, therefore with advice of 

1 Tanner, MS. xxxii. 5, in Papers relating 2 Jenness, Transcripts, &c p. 126; Edward 

to the Hist, of the Church in A f ass., 1676-1785, Cranfield to Com. for Foreign Plantations, Dec I, 
p. 643, edited by W. S. Perry, D.D., 1873. 1682. 


the Councell made this inclosed Order. Notwithstanding they were left in the intire 
possession of their Churches and only required to administer both Sacraments, ac- 
cording to the Liturgie of y e Church of England, to such as desired them, which they 
refuse to doe, and will understand Liberty of Conscience given in his Maj ts Commission, 
not only to exempt them from giving the Sacrament according to the Book of Comon 
Prayer but make all the Inhabitants contribute to their Maintenance, although they 
refuse to give them the Sacrament and Christen their Children, if it be not absolutely 
enjoyned here, and in other colonies, that both Sacraments be administered to all persons 
that are duly qualified, according to the form of the Comon Prayer, there will be per- 
petual dissentions, and a totall decay of the Christian Religion." L 

In New Hampshire Cranfield tried to put these principles into practice 
with no more success than was to be looked for when the Governor chose to 
strike against the Puritan rock. In December, 1683, he ordered the ministers 
to admit all persons not scandalous to the sacrament and to baptism, and to 
use for these sacred offices the English liturgy when desired, under penalty ; 
and he commanded Rev. Joshua Moodey, of Portsmouth, to read this order 
from his pulpit. A few days later he sent Moodey notice that he with some 
of his coadjutors who, if tradition is to be believed, could scarcely claim 
to be " not scandalous persons " " would receive from him the sacrament 
according to the liturgy of the Church of England the next Sunday." 
Moodey declined to violate his conscience, and went to prison for it with a 
stout heart. Nothing is so stimulating to religious convictions as the sight 
of a worthy martyr; and the latent Puritanism was doubtless quickened in 
many lukewarm spirits in Boston, when like wildfire the news spread of 
what had been done, just beyond their jurisdiction, by the overbearing 
Governor who had been seen in their own streets. 

In October, 1683, Randolph brought the threatened quo warranto against 
the charter, which in October, 1684, was abrogated at last. The liberties of the 
Puritan State had fallen with those of the ancient boroughs of England be- 
fore the corrupt decision of courts which were the tools of the Stuart tyranny. 
And Massachusetts was now a Royal Province, to be ruled by a Governor 
sent from over seas, a representative of the King, who must needs have, 
therefore, a sort of vice-regal court, and must worship after the forms of 
the Established Church. Still a little further delay ; for Charles II. was sum- 
moned to the bar of the King of kings, in that sudden hour of which John 
Evelyn has left so impressive an account. Charles died in February, 1685. 
Just before his death he had shown what his temper towards New England 
was, by commissioning the brutal Colonel Piercy Kirk to be Governor with 
unlimited authority. He was to have a council of his own appointment, 
and all lands granted here were to pay a royal quit-rent. One of the three 
Boston churches was to be seized for the service of the Church of England, 
a point on which Randolph's persistency with the Royal Council and the 
prelates had succeeded. But though James II. confirmed Kirk's appoint- 
ment, he soon found that he should need him for a tool of oppression in 

1 Jenness, Transcripts, pp. 147, 148. Cranfield to Committee, Jan. 16, 1683. 


England. 1 In the year's delay which yet intervened, the following record 
from the Journals of the Privy Council shows what preparations were 
making there : 

" Novf 1 685 : Ordered, that ... his Mais stationer do forthwith provide and de- 
liver to the Right Rev. Father in God, Henry, Lord Bp. of London, ... six large 
Bibles in folio, six Common- Prayer Books in folio, six books of the Canons of the 
Church of England, six of the homilies of the Church, six copies of the xxxix Articles, 
and six Tables of Marriage, to be sent to New-Eng., and there disposed for the use of 
his Mais plantation, as the said Bp. of London shall direct." 2 

On May 15, 1686, there entered Boston Harbor a vessel "freighted 
heavily with wo " 3 to " the Bostoneers," as Randolph called them. For this 
" Rose " frigate brought a commission to Joseph Dudley as president of 
Massachusetts, Maine, Nova Scotia, and the lands between : she also 
brought the Rev. Robert Ratcliffe, the first minister of the English Church 
who had ever come so commissioned to officiate on this soil. 

The Puritan diarist, 4 who has left an 
invaluable chronicle of this period, sup- 
plies the record of the ensuing ecclesias- 
tical steps, not without ample indication 
of the course of his own sympathies : 

" 1686. Tuesday, May 18. A great Wedding from Milton, and are married 
by Mr. Randolph's Chaplain at Mr. Shrimpton's, according to yf Service-Book, a little 
after Noon, when Prayer was had at ye Town House : Was another married at ye 
same time ; The former was Vosse's son. Borroowd a ring. Tis s d they having asked 
Mr. Cook and Addington, and yy declining it, went after to ye President and he sent y m 
to y e Parson." 

No sooner had Dudley assumed his office than Mr. Ratcliffe waited on 
the Council, and Mr. Mason and Randolph proposed that he should have 
one of the three congregational meeting-houses to preach in. This, how- 
ever, was denied ; but he was allowed the use of the library room in the 

1 In the light of Colonel Kirk's infamous happening here in an order, signed by S. Pepys, 

record there is a grim humor in Randolph's de- appointing " Our Shipp the ' Rose,' Cap' John 

scription of him, writing to Dudley: " . . . 9, n, George, Commander, to attend our Collony of 

'84. His Majesty has chosen Coll. Kerke, late New England," Nov. 28, 1685. 4 Mass. Hist. 

governor of Tangier, to be your governor. He Coll. ii. 234. The change of government was 

is a gentleman of very good resolution, and, I duly celebrated in Boston by the proclamation of 

believe, will not faile in any part of his duty to James II , April 20, 1685, when there may have 

his Majesty, nor be wanting to doe all good offices been in the Puritans a momentary hope of relief, 
for your distracted colony, if, at last, they will 2 Palfrey, New England, iii. 484. 

hear what is reason and be governed." 3 Greenwood, History of King's Chapel, 

It is interesting to note a momentary con- p. 15. 
nection of the racy diarist Pepys with the events * Sewall, Diary. 


east end of the town-house, which stood where the Old State House now 
stands, " untill those who desire his Ministry shall provide a fitter place." 

" Sabbath, May 3o th , 1686. My son reads to me in course y e 26 th of Isaiah, In 
that day shall y Song, &c. And we sing y e 141 Psalm both exceedingly suited to y e 
day wherein therein to be Worship according to y e Chh of Engld as 'tis call'd, in y e 
Town- House by Countenance of Authority. Tis defer'd till y 6 th of June at what 
time y 6 Pulpit is provided ; it seems many crowded thether, and y e Ministers preached 
forenoon and Afternoon. Charles Lidget there. The pulpit is movable, carried up and 
down stairs, as occasion serves." l 

There for the first time the liturgy was read, and on June 15, 1686, 
" the Church of England as by law established " was organized in Boston, 
as appears from the first record in the parchment-bound folio constitut- 
ing the earliest record-book of King's Chapel. Besides Mr. Ratcliffe and 
Mr. Randolph, there were present Captain Lydgett, Messrs. Luscomb, White, 
Maccartie, Ravenscroft, Dr. Clerke, Messrs. Turfery and Bankes, and Dr. 
Bullivant. It was voted to defray the expenses of the church by a weekly 
collection at evening service. Dr. Benj. Bullivant and Mr. Richard Bankes 
were elected the first church-wardens. It was also voted humbly to address 
the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London, 
" to implore their favor to the church, and that all other true sons of the 
Church of England might join in the same." Also : " Agreed, that Mr. 
Smith the Joyner do make 12 formes, for the servise of the Church, for 
each of which he shall be paid 43. 8d., and that the said Mr. Smith be paid 
2os. quarterly for placing and removing the Pulpit, formes, table, &c." 

Another meeting is recorded on July 4, 1686, at which it was agreed 
to pay Mr. Ratcliffe 50 per annum beside what the Council might 
allow him. 

The earliest funeral administration of the church offices is recorded in 
Sewall's Diary : 

"Aug. 5 [1686]. M r Harris, boddice-maker, is the first buried with Common 
Prayer : he was formerly Randolph's landlord." 

The first observance of the Lord's Supper was held on the second Sunday 
of August. This, too, was noted by the observant Puritan eye : 

"Sabbath-day, Aug* 8. 'Tis s d y e Sacramt of y e Lord's Super is administered 
at y e Town H. Cleverly there." 2 

The Episcopalians set about the undertaking of a church for themselves, 
without delay. 

" Aug ( 21, Mane. Mr. Randolph and Bullivant were here. Mr. Randolph men- 
tion'd a Contribution toward building them a Chh, and seem'd to goe away displeas'd 
bee. I spake not up to it." 8 

1 Sewall, Diary. 2 ibid. 3 Ibid. 

VOL. I. 26. 


But Randolph had other designs for them, involving the seizure of one of 
the Congregational meeting-houses, and the support of the Church of Eng- 
land at the cost of those who hated it. Here, however, his purposes were 
crossed, and his brief partnership with Dudley speedily gave place to 
hostility, as the possession of coveted power gave the pliant son of stern old 
Thomas Dudley the opportunity to displease all parties in serving himself. 
Randolph wrote to the Lords of Trade and Plantations, July 28, 1686: 

" The proceeding of the governor and councill . . . are managed to the incouragement 
of the independant faction and utter discountenancing both the minister and these gen- 
tlemen and others who dare openly profess themselves to be of the Church of Eng- 
land, not making any allowance for our minister, more than we rayse by contribution 
amongst ourselves." 

Randolph had supposed it to be part of the implied contract with Dudley 
that the Church of England was to be installed in power on his accession. 
But the following letter gives a vivid picture of his disappointment, as well 
as of the difficulties with which the new church had to contend : l 

" BOSTON, NEW ENGLAND, Aug 1 2 nd , 1686. 

"... As to M r Dudley, our Presid', he is a N. Conformist minister, and for sev- 
eral years preachd in New Engl! till he became a Magistrate, and so continued for 
many years ; but, finding his interest to faile among that party, sett vp for a King's man, 
and, when in London, he made his application to my Lord of London, and was well 
liked of by some about his late Ma tie ; where vpon he was appointed for this turn to 
be president, who, at my arriual, with all outward expressions of duty and loyalty, 
receiued his Ma ties Commission, Sweetned with liberty of conscience : and now we 
believed we had gained the point, supposing the President our own for y e C. of Eng d . 
At the opening his Ma ties commission, I desired M r Ratcliffe, our minister, to attend 
the ceremony and say grace, but was refused. I am not to forgett that in the late 
Rebellion of Munmouth, not one minister opened his lipps to pray for the King, hop- 
ing that the time of their deliverance from monarchy and popery was at hand. Some 
tyme after y e settlement of y e gou m , I moued for a place for the C. of England men to 
assemble in ; after many delays, at last were gott a small room in y e town house, but 
our Company increasing beyond the expectation of the gou m , we now use y e Exchange, 
and haue y e Common-prayer and two sermons euery Sunday, and at 7 a clock in y e morn- 
ing on Wednesdays and frydays the whole service of y e Church ; and some Sundays 7 or 
8 persons are in one day Baptis'd, and more would dayly be of our communion had wee 
but the Company and countenance of the President and Councill ; but instead thereof 
wee are neglected and can obtain no maintainance from them to support our minister. 
Butt had wee a gen" gou r we should soon haue a larg congregation and also one of the 
Churches in Boston, as your Grace was pleased to propose when these matters were 
debated at y e Councill Table. 2 I humbly remind your Grace of the money granted 
formerly for evangelizing the Indians in our Neighborhood. It's great pitty that 
there should be a considerable stock in this country (but how imployed I know not) 

1 Other letters from him are largely quoted 2 See Hutchinson's Coll. of Tapers, pp. 549, 

by Dr. Palfrey, passim, going over essentially the 550, of the original edition; ii. 291, 292, of the 
same ground, in History of New England, iii. Prince Society's reprint. 


and wee want 7 or 800^ to build vs a Church. Their ministry exclaim against y f Com- 
mon Prayer, calling it man's invention, and that there is more hopes that vvhoremongers 
and adulterers will go to heaven than those of y e C. of Eng 11 . By these wicked doc- 
trines they poison the people, and their ministry carry it as high as ever. . . . Your 
grace can hardly imagine the small artifices they haue vsed to prevent our meetings on 
Sundays, and at all other tymes to serue God. They haue libelled my wife and our Min- 
ister, and this is done (as credibly beleiued) by ye minister of the frigott, 1 yett it 's coun- 
tenanced by the faction, who haue endeavoured to make a breach in my family, betwixt 
me and my wife, and haue accomplished another design in setting vp and supporting 
Capt. Georg, Commander of the ' Rose ' frigott, against me. . . . 

" It 's necessary that y e gou r licence all their ministers, and that none be called 
to be a pastor of a Congregation without his approbation. By this method alone the 
whole Country will easily be regulated, and then they will build vs a church and be 
willing to allow our ministers an honorable maintenance. 

" Wee haue a sober, prudent gent, to be our minister, and well approved ; but, in 
case of sickness or other casualtyes, if he haue not one soul from Eng. 1 . to helpe him, 
our Church is lost. ' Tis therefore necessary That another sober man come ouer to 
assist, for some tymes 'tis requisite that one of them visit the other Colonyes to bap- 
tise and administer the Sacrament ; and in regard we cannot make 40'!' a yeare start by 
contributions for support of him and his assistant, it would be very gratefull to our 
church affaires if his Ma lie would please to grant us his Royall letters, That the three 
meeting houses in Boston, which seuerally collect 7 or &jQ on a Sunday, do pay to 
our church warden 205-. a weeke for each meeting house, which will be some encour- 
agement to our ministers, and then they can but raile against y e Service of y e Church. 
They haue great Stocks, and were they directed to contribute to build us a Church, 
or part from one of their meeting houses, Such as wee should approue, they would 
purchase that exemption at a great rate, and then they could but call vs papists and 
our Minister Baal! Priests." 2 

It is evident enough, from the letters of the most resolute enemy that 
New England had, that the Church was pushed here by Randolph in no 
small degree as a political engine, rather than for religious and devout ends. 
The clear-sighted and conscientious Puritans who were opposed to him saw 
this very plainly. The wonder is not that they opposed the church so cham- 
pioned, but rather that it took root at all under such malign auspices. 

The congregation of the Church of England in Boston was now organized 
and established, and would soon have had a religious home of its own but 
for a new political event. Within five months, on December 20, 1686, Sir 
Edmund Andros superseded Dudley and became the first Royal Governor 
of the Province. 

It is beyond the scope of this narrative to give in detail the history of 
the high-handed ways in which Governor Andros faithfully carried out his 
master's policy. His proceedings in the State were paralleled by his course 
in ecclesiastical affairs. On the very day of his landing, the Governor endeav- 
ored to make an arrangement with the ministers for the partial use of one 

1 The Rev. Mr. Buckly was the chaplain of Tanner MS. xxx f. 97, quoted in Perry's Papers 
the " Rose " frigate. relating to the History of the Church in Mass. 

2 Randolph to Archbishop of Canterbury, in pp. 653-656. 


of the meeting-houses for Church of England worship. The pithy con- 
densed entries in Sewall's Diary give us an invaluable picture of the course 
of the negotiation and of subsequent events ; and there are few more 
dramatic incidents in our history than the moment when the English ruler 
and the Boston clergy confronted each other. 

"Monday, Decemb' 20, 1686. Gov r Andros comes up in y e Pinace. . . . 

"... it seems speaks to y e Ministers in y e Library abt accomodation as to a 
Meeting-house, yt might so contrive ye time as one House might serve two Assem- 

"Tuesday, Dec r 21. There is a Meeting at Mr. Allen's of ye Ministers, and four 
of each Congregation to consider what answer to give ye Gov r ; and 'twas agreed yt 
could not with a good Conscience consent yt our Meeting-House should be made 
use of for ye Cofnon-prayr worship. 

"Dec r 22. . . . In ye Evening Mr. Mather and Willard thorowly discoursed his Ex- 
cellency about ye Meeting-Houses in great plainess, shewing they could not consent : 
This was at his Lodging at Madam Taylor's ; He seems to say will not impose. 

" Friday X r 24. About 60 Red-coats are brought to Town. . . . 

"Satterday, X r 25. Govr goes to ye Town-House to Service Forenoon and after- 
noon, a Redcoat going on's right hand and Capt. George on ye left. Was not at Lec- 
ture on Thorsday. Shops open to-day generally and persons about y r occasions. Some 
but few Carts at Town with wood tho u y e day exceeding fair and pleasant. Read in ye 
morn ye 46 & 47 of Isa." 

So ended what must have been an exciting week in the little Puritan 
community. But they were thankful that things were no worse. Mr. Sew- 
all doubtless expressed the general mind when, meeting Governor Andros 
in the street, 

" Friday Jan. 7 th i68f. I thankfully acknowledged ye protection and peace we 
enjoyed under his Excellencie's Government." 

The Puritans knew very well the temper of the men whom they were fight- 
ing. The controversy was one which no soft words would heal. It was at 
bottom nothing less than a deadly strife as to which of two opposing 
principles should govern Massachusetts. The unanimous mind of those 
who came here to execute the court policy was expressed by Governor 
Cranfield, of New Hampshire, who, in a letter dated at Boston, June 19, 
1683, wrote to Sir LI. Jenkins, 

"... There can be no greater evill attend his Maj tie affairs here, then those perni- 
cious and Rebellious principles which flows from their Collige at Cambridge which they 
call their Uniuersity, from whence all the Townes both in this and the other Colonys 
are supplyed with Factious and Seditious Preachers who stirr up the people to a dislike 
of his Maj litf and his Goum 1 . and the Religion of the Church of England, terming the 
Liturgy of our Church a precident of Superstition and picked out of the Popish 
Dunghill ; so that I am humbly of opinion this Country can never bee well settled or 
the people become good Subjects, till their Preachers bee reformed and that Colleclge 
suppressed and the severall Churches supplyed with Learned and Orthodox Ministers 
from England as all other his Maj" es Dominions in America are. 


" The Country growes very populous, and if Longer left ungoverned or in that man- 
ner as now they are I feare it may bee of dangerous consequence to his Maj' s concerns 
in this part of the World. ... If the Boston Charter were made void and the Cheif 
of the Faction called to answer in their owne persons for their misdemenors and 
their Teachers restrained from Seditious preaching, it would give great encourage- 
ment to the Loyall Party, to shew themselves, who haue hetherto beene kept under 
and greatly oppressed and from all places of proffitt and trust. . . ." l 

A school of historical students has sprung up in this country who teach 
that the Massachusetts policy was a self-seeking and hypocritical one. The 
fact simply was that the Massachusetts policy was imperious, as it was 
necessary to be when in collision with imperiousness, and its assertors were 
in away sagacious, as those must be who have to outwit unprincipled craft; 
their course was narrow, as a sword must be if it is to have a cutting edge. 
The Puritan idea tended to make men freemen ; the courtly idea of the 
court of Charles II. tended to make them slaves. In that interest the 
courtier party here bent all their efforts to break the Puritan idea to atoms. . 
On the other hand, the Puritan idea was based on the supposition that this 
should be a colony of Puritans, that they could keep out everybody else. 
And thus when the land filled up with churchmen and loyalists, the injus- 
tice followed that there was a multitude of disfranchised persons ; so that 
it came to pass that the courtier party, from having fought against liberty 
at home, were obliged to fight for liberty here. To our forefathers it 
seemed that these men were wholly evil ; but as dispassionate historical 
students we should judge them more fairly. 

That little group of men " in the library of the town house" brought the 
antagonist forces face to face. 

Confronting the new power that was bent on subverting the cherished 
system of the Colony was a little company, resolute, uncompromising, 
devoted to the Puritan idea, in the five ministers of Boston. They were 
the steel point of the spear which Massachusetts held steadily before her 
breast, ever on the guard, though not thrusting against her enemy as yet. 
The clergy had possessed a supreme influence from the beginning of 
the colony. The ablest men had found in that profession their largest 
opportunity. Many a man whose ambition led him later into public life 
set his foot first on that firm stepping-stone to power. George Downing, 
who passed from his Cambridge study of theology, by way of a chaplaincy 
in Cromwell's army, to success as one of the ablest politicians in England, 
whose baseness in betraying his former friends to a traitor's death when he 
joined Charles II. was only paralleled by his refusal to allow his mother 
the pittance needed in her old age ; Joseph Dudley, nursed in the very 
bosom of Massachusetts, and turning to give her the deadlier sting with 
talents and powers which made him one of the ablest men of his time; 
William Stoughton, the rich, sour old bachelor, who never repented of his 
dark part as judge in the Salem witchcraft tragedy, and whose character 

1 Jenness, Transcripts, p. 150. 


is crabbedly portrayed on the walls of the Cambridge dining-hall, these, 
and such as these, began as New England ministers. 

The sceptre of dominion was to pass forever from the Massachusetts 
clergy with the generation now on the stage. But the five ministers of the 
Boston churches are worthy to wield it. They face Andros, when he 
demands one of their churches, with a will as resolute as his own. Four. of 
them were now hard upon fifty years old ; the fifth made up for the brevity 
of his twenty-four years by a precocity which was the wonder of the town. 
Two were joint-ministers of the First Church, two of the Second, and one 
of the Third, or South, Church. 

Rev. James Allen, an ejected minister and Oxford Fellow, came to New 
England soon after the accession of Charles II. At the period of our 
narrative he had been eighteen years a minister of the First Church, having 
been installed as its teacher Dec. 9, 1668, at the same time that Davenport 
was inducted as its pastor. He was destined to continue in his sacred 
.office until his death, at the age of seventy-eight, Sept. 22, 1710. John 
Dunton, in 1 his Life and Errors, says: " I went to visit the Reverend Mr. 
Allen. He is very humble and very rich, and can be generous enough 
when the humor is upon him. His son was an eminent minister here in 
England, and deceased at Northampton." 

The historian of the First Church thus writes concerning him : 

" He was equally moderate and lenient in his concessions to others, on the score 
of individual freedom, as he was strenuous for the enjoyment of his own rights. He 

was willing to render to Caesar all proper 
tribute ; but he was unwilling that Caesar, 
in the capacity of civil magistrate, should 

^Tt) /)>i *Lrf i" **. interfere in holy things. He was equally 

/ * """"^"^ desirous of shielding the Church against 

L<^++^*f-f J\0&n tne power of the Clergy, as against that of 

*^ the civil ruler. [He] enjoyed a long, virtu- 

ous, and happy life of seventy-eight years, 
forty-six of which he had been a member, 
and forty-two a vigilant ruler and instructer 
of the Church. His wealth gave him the 
power, which he used as a good Bishop, to 
be hospitable." 

His colleague, Joshua Moodey, was a man of the stuff" that martyrs are 
made of, and had himself shown a willingness to die, if need be, in this 
very cause. During his imprisonment by Cranfield at Portsmouth, he wrote 
from prison a letter worthy to be enrolled with the Acts of the Martyrs: 

" The good Lord prepare poor New England for the bitter cup which is begun with 
us, and intended (by man at least) to go round. But God is faithful ; upon whose 
grace and strength I beg grace to hang and hope." This letter he signed " Christ'^ 
prisoner and your humble servant." ' 

1 4 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. v. 120. 


After three months' incarceration he had come to Boston, and had been 
invited to remain as Mr. Allen's assistant. It is not less to his honor that in 
1692 his opposition to the witchcraft delusion was to cause his removal 
again from Boston, returning to Portsmouth, where he died July 4, 1697. 

The renowned ministers of the Second Church the Mathers, father and 
son are considered in a later chapter of this work. The son, indeed, has 
given a fantastic tinge to the name, which clouds over his real claim to hon- 
orable memory. Cotton Mather had grave faults, his conceit of learning, 
his credulity, his monstrous part in the witchcraft tragedy. But lovers of 
books ought to judge leniently of the man who wrote more than three hun- 
dred ! And the part which he played in his later years in the introduction 
here of inoculation for small-pox, when the fury of the mob imperilled 
his very life, entitles him to grateful remembrance. When he stood before 
Andros, only twenty- four years old, his faults were not yet so evident, and 
his promise seemed to have no limit. 

Of the father, Increase Mather, President of Harvard College, and one 
of the most eminent who have ever filled that office, a powerful preacher 
to the age of eighty-five, agent of Massachusetts at the court of King James 
II. and at that of William and Mary, his distinguished reception there testi- 
fies to the impression which he made on nobles and princes. He lived to be 
the last possessor of the almost absolute power of the old Puritan clergy. 
When he faced Andros he was the very incarnation of the Puritan temper. 
He addressed a town-meeting in Boston when there was question of giving 
up the charter, in 1683-84, and openly counselled that they should return 
Naboth's answer when Ahab asked for his vineyard, that they would not 
give up the inheritance of their fathers. 1 

Randolph, who knew men thoroughly, paid Increase Mather the compli- 
ment of hating him and fearing him as he did no other man here. " The 
Bellowes of Sedition and Treason," 2 he called him ; and when after the dowa- 
fall of the Andros tyranny he was safely lodged in prison and had leisure to 
contemplate the bringing to nought of his fifteen years of busy scheming, 
he wrote from the " Goal in Boston, May 16, '89," to the Gov r of Barbados, 
"... They have not yet sent to England, expecting Mather, their 
Mahomett." 3 

The Mathers also were quite capable of a hatred which they perhaps 
thought to be only righteous indignation. Increase Mather, with all his 
dignity, observed this in his famous letter to Governor Dudley, nearly twenty 
years later than this time, in which he raked together all Dudley's political 
and personal sins in a pile of red-hot coals, by no means of the kind which 
the apostle commands to heap on an enemy's head. It is not difficult to 
imagine what was the temper of such men as these, when they saw that 

1 In any other country of the civilized world the most dreaded scourge, and where lived his 

the veriest stranger would read inscriptions re- father, Increase Mather, the leader of Massa- 

cordmg where the house stood in which Cotton chusetts Puritans in this great contest. 
Mather inoculated his own child to prove the 2 Mather Papers, p. 525. 

safety of the process, and by so doing banished 3 Hutchinson, Coll. of Papers, ii. 315. 


nothing but their firmness and skill could save from destruction all that 
they held dearest. 

Last of the five ministers was he of the South Church, Rev. Samuel Wil- 
lard, son of Major Simon Willard, one of the principal citizens of Concord 
and prominent in civil and 'military life. He had been a Fellow of Harvard 
College and subsequently the first minister of Groton, where his ministry 
was ended by the destruction of the town by the Indians in 
March, 1676, when he had removed to Boston and, being 
settled as colleague to Rev. Thomas Thacher, was soon left 
the only minister of the South Church, which place he occupied until Rev. 
Ebenezer Pemberton was settled as his colleague in 1700. From Sept. 6, 
1701, to Aug. 14, 1707, he filled the office of Vice-president of Harvard 
College, while retaining his pastorship. He died Sept. 12, 1707. 

" Well furnished with learning," says Dunton, he " has a natural fluency 
of speech and can say what he pleases." 1 During the witchcraft delusion 
he bore himself prudently and firmly. Pastor of three of the special judges 
of that tribunal, " he has as yet," says a contemporary, " met with little but 
unkindness, abuse, and reproach from many men." Calef says that once 
" one of the accusers cried out publicly of Mr. Willard, as afflicting of her." 
He published many works, of which the chief was his Complete Body of 
Divinity, the first folio volume of theology published in this country, in 
I726. 2 

These were the men who, with a constituency of laymen behind them, 
had to foil Andros and Randolph if they could. 3 

1 Dunton's Letters, edited by Mr. Whitmore, one of your publick Meeting-Houses or in any 
p. 175. other convenient place, where all who are de- 

2 [The portrait of Willard, given in this sirous to come may have liberty, and let the 
volume, is a reduced heliotype from the engrav- time be as soon as may, as either to day in 
ing which stands as a frontispiece to this folio, the Afternoon, or to morrow in the Fore-noon ; 
There is a portrait in Memorial Hall, Cam- but rather then fail, if ye will give me any as- 
bridge. ED.] surance to have a meeting with you, I will attend 

8 The lofty bearing which these Puritan your leasure for two or three days to come, pro- 
ministers could assume is shown in their an- viding once this day ye send me your positive 
swer to the Quaker, George Keith, just after answer; and if ye give me a meeting with you, 
this time. Keith's book was called The Presby- I proffer in true love and good-will, by the 
terian and Independent Visible Churches in fleto divine assistance, to show and inform you. that 
(Englanfc And else-wkere, Brought to the Tat, &c. ye teach and preach unto the People many false 
Philadelphia, 1689. and unsound Principles contrary to the Doc- 
It contained the following letter: trine of Christ, sufficiently declared in the holy 

" To James Allen, Joshua Moody, Samuel Wil- 
lard, Cotton Mather, Preachers in the Town It is an interesting illustration of the doctrine 
of Boston in New England. then taught in the Boston pulpit, that among his 
" Friends and Neighbours twelve P oints of complaint, besides asserting his 
" I being well assured, both by the Spirit of doctrine of the "Inner Light," he mentions that 
God in my Heart and the Testimony of the holy thev teach 

Scriptures, that the Doctrine ye preach to the " That there are reprobate Infants that dye 

People is false and pernicious to the Souls of in Infancy, and perish eternally, only for Adam's 

People in many things, do earnestly desire and Sin imputed unto them, and derived into them, 

entreat you, and every one of you, the Preachers ........ 

in the Town of Boston, to give me a fair and "That Justification is only by Christ's 

publick hearing or meeting with you, either in Righteousness, without us, imputed unto us, 



Of those who were with these ministers, the shaft to their spear-head, 
we can now call up only few and shadowy glimpses. We know, indeed, 
the names of a few of the gentlemen who were on the side of the native 
cause ; but with the exception of Judge Sewall there is hardly one whom 
we can vividly picture to ourselves. The great men of the former genera- 


tion had passed away. With the death of that grand old Commonwealth 
soldier, Governor Leverett, nine years before, the last of the heroic group 
had gone. The most venerable figure whom we now see is old Simon 
Bradstreet, full of years and of dignity. When Andros is overthrown 

and received by Faith alone, and not by any 
Righteousness of God or Christ infused into 
us, or wrought in us." 

The answer of the Boston ministers was 
brief and to the point : 

" Having received a Blasphemous and Heret- 
ical Paper, subscribed by one George Keith, our 
answer to it and him is, If he desires Con- 
ference to instruct us, let him give us his Argu- 
ments in wilting, as well as his Assertions: If 
to inform himself, let him write his Doubts : 
If to cavil and disturb the Peace of our Churches 
(which we have cause to suspect), we have 
VOL. I. 27. 

neither list nor leasure to attend his Motions : 
If he would have a Publick Audience, let him 
Print : If a private Discourse, though he may 
know where we dwell, yet we forget not what 
the Apostle John saith, Ep. ii. 10. 




"July the 12"', 1688." 

The final Scriptural reference is this : " If 
there come any to you and bring not this doc- 
trine, receive him not into your house, neither 
give him God-speed." 


in 1689 he will be placed at the head of the government, though weighed 
down with the snows of ninety years. We prize the few words in which 
the Labadist missionaries describe him, 1 " an old man, quiet and grave, 
dressed in black silk, but not sumptuously." Venerable, but not forcible, 
his memory was long cherished, largely because he had the happy fortune 
to linger the last survivor of a band of remarkable men. He seemed to 
concentrate in himself the dignity and wisdom of the first century of Mas- 
sachusetts life. 

But the strength of the opposition which the ministers headed was really 
the same which made the strength of the Revolution, and again of our own 
War for the Nation. It was the tough persistence of the common people. 
The yeomen of New England knew perfectly what they wanted ; and they 
wanted no bishops nor tithes, nor forced loans of their churches. They 
might bend a little for a moment ; but they would only spring back the 
harder ; and they would never break ! 

The strange law by which the Old South Church was brought, in this 
earlier time of revolution as well as in the later ninety years afterward, into 
a sort of representative attitude as the special antagonist of the alien in- 
fluences, is strikingly exemplified in the person who stands in history as the 
typical Puritan of his time. It is not because Samuel Sewall was the most 
prominent man in Boston ; for that he was not, at the time where we are, 
though he was a man of wealth and influence and of the real Puritan 
character. But it is, above all, because he kept a diary ! His ink had a 
wholesome human tincture in it which has prevented it from fading through 
two centuries. Judge Sewall is the Pepys of New England. His diary is 
as quaint and racy, and as full of delicious bits of self-revealing as was that 
of his English contemporary. But how unlike to that other Samuel in all 
the nobler aspects, all of which are mirrored in those brown old pages, 
his prayerful temper, his loyalty to God and to the God-fearing Puritanism 
which he loved so well ! 2 

The Governor waited yet three months with a patience hardly in accord 
with his impetuous character, and showed himself a good churchman in the 
shorn observances in the town-hall. Sewall records : 

" [1686-7]. Tuesday, January 25. This day is kept for s' Paul and y e Bell was rung 
in y* Morning to call persons to service ; The Gov r (I am told) was there. 

" Monday. January 31. There is a Meeting at y e Town house forenoon and after- 
noon. Bell rung for it ; respecting y e beheading Charles y e first. Gov r there." 

But when the solemn days of the Church at the close of Lent drew nigh, 
there seemed a special unfitness in their celebration by the representative of 
the King and by the authorized ritual of England in a place devoid of all 
sacred associations, with a few " benches and formes," while around the 
Governor were commodious houses of worship tenanted by a form of re- 
ligion which at home had no rights, not even the legal right to exist. 

1 Long Island Hist. Soc. Coll. i. 2 [Cf. Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., February, 1873. ED.] 


No reason is given why the South Church was selected to be the very 
unwilling host of the new Episcopal Society ; but it may be conjectured 
that it was either because it was the nearest to where Sir Edmund lived, 
in what was then called " the best part of the town," and near where the 
Province House afterwards stood, or because the South Church only had 
one minister, while each of the others had two, i. e., twice as many persons 
with troublesome tongues. Then, too, Randolph had doubtless told the 
Governor how the South Church rose out of a bitter quarrel, and he may 
have thought that the other two churches would look on its vexations with 
more composure of spirit. To be sure, in 1682, when ominous clouds were 
gathering over the prospects of New England Puritanism, the First Church 
had proposed to the South Church " to forgive and forget all past offences," 
and to live " in peace for time to come." But it may well have been sup- 
posed that the old gulf had not wholly closed. 

Sewall again notes in his diary : 

"Tuesday, March 22, 168^. This day his excellency views the three Meeting 
houses. Wednesday, March 23. The Gov r sends Mr. Randolph for y 6 keys of our 
Meetingh. y' may say Prayers there. Mr. Eliot, Frary, Oliver, Savage, Davis, and my self 
wait on his Excellency ; shew that y e Land and House is ours, and that we can't consent 
to part with it to such use ; exhibit an extract of Mrs. Norton's Deed and how 'twas 
built by particular persons as Hull, Oliver, ioo a piece, &c. 

"Friday, March 25, 1687. The Gov r has service in ye south Meetinghouse; 
Goodm. Needham [the Sexton] tho' had resolv'd to ye Contrary, was prevail'd upon 
to Ring ye Bell and open ye door at ye Governour's Comand, one Smith and Hill, Joiner 
and Shoemaker, being very busy about it. Mr. Jno. Usher was there, whether at ye 
very begining, or no, I can't tell." 

From this time, during the remainder of Andros's administration, that 
is, for a little over two years, the Episcopalians had joint occupancy of the 
South Church with its proper owners, though against occasional protests. 

It was something, indeed, for which the Puritan congregation had 
reason to be grateful, that they were allowed to worship at all in their own 
meeting-house by the representative of a government which at home had 
set so many marks of scorn on dissenters from the Church of England. 
Nevertheless, on the special days of the Church they were subjected to 
grave inconveniences. On Easter Sunday, 1687, the Governor and his suite 
met there again at eleven, sending word to the proprietors that they might 
come at half-past one ; " but it was not until after two that the Church service 
was over;" owing, says Sewall, to "the sacrament and Mr. Clarke's long 
sermon ; so 'twas a sad sight to see how full the street was with people gazing 
and moving to and fro, because they had not entrance into the house." 

The Puritan diarist, to whose invaluable pages we are indebted for the 
history of this obstinate contest, follows it further step by step with his pithy 
narrative till the end of October, 1688, in passages which we have not space 
to quote. The pressure of imposition on the one side and of resistance on 


the other grew more urgent. In April, 1688, the Governor gave his definite 
promise that they would "build a house;" but the further long delay led 
to hot remonstrances and an angry dispute between the high-tempered 
soldier and the Puritan owners of the South Church, who were stubborn 
for their rights. 

To this enforced tenancy of the South Meeting-house we owe some of 
the most picturesque passages in the religious history of the period. We 
quote Sewall again : 

" Monday, May 16, 1687. This day Capt. Hamilton buried w th Capt. Nicholson's 
Redcoats and y c 8 Companies : Was a funeral-sermon preach 'd by y c Fisher's Chaplain : 
Pulpit cover'd with black cloath upon w' h scutcheons : Mr. Dudley, Stoughton & 
many others at y e Comon Prayer, and Sermon : House very full, and yet ye Souldiers 
went not in." 

But the most impressive scene which it witnessed was the funeral of Lady 
Andros. The rigid Puritan diarist gives us an unconscious glimpse into his 
feelings of indignant sorrow for New England, in his private entry on this 
event : 

" Feb. 10, i68. Between 4 and 5. 1 went to y e Funeral of y c Lady Andros having 
been invited p ye Clark of ye South-Company. Between 7. and 8. (Lychus illuminating 
ye cloudy air) The Corps was carried into the Herse drawn by six Horses. The Soul- 
diers making a Guard from y e Governour's House down ye Prison Lane to ye South-M. 
House, there taken out and carried in at ye western dore, and set in ye Alley before ye 
pulpit w th six Mourning women by it. House made light with candles and Torches ; was 
a great noise and clamor to keep people out of y e House, y' might not rush in too 
soon. I went home, where about nine a clock I heard y e Bell toll again for ye Funeral. 
It seems Mr. Ratcliff's Text was, Cry, all flesh is Grass. The Ministers turned in to Mr 
Willards. The Meeting House full, among whom Mr. Dudley, Stoughton, Gedney, 
Bradstreet &c. On Satterday, Feb. 1 1 . y c mourning cloth of y e Pulpit is taken off and 
given to Mr. Willard. My Bro r . Stephen was at y e Funeral, and lodged here." 

Another illustration of the bitter conflicts of feeling here is found in the 
account of the funeral of a person named Lilly, who had left the ordering 
of this to his executors. Mr. Ratcliffe undertook to read the service at his 
grave, he having been one of the subscribers to the church, but the execu- 
tors forbade him ; and when he began, Deacon Frairey of the South Church 
interrupted him and put a stop to the service, for which the deacon was 
bound to his good behavior for twelve months. This was deemed of suf- 
ficient importance to be reported to the Privy Council in England. 

The Governor on one occasion requested the South Church minister to 
begin his service at 8 A.M. for the convenience of the Episcopalians, and 
promised that it should be the last time. But still the church was occupied 
in this way till just before the popular uprising which overthrew Andres's 
government, on the news of William of Orange's landing in England. 

It is a chapter of outrageous wrongs which Andros wrote here, and there 
is cause for lasting regret that the origin of so good a thing as religious 


freedom under the stern old Puritan regime should have been sullied by his 
despotic acts. But it is satisfactory to remember that ninety years later 
King's Chapel willingly expiated this injustice by opening its doors wide to 
the Old South Congregation, when dispossessed of their own church by the 
later revolution. It should be said, too, that the character both of Andros 
and Randolph doubtless had a better side than they showed to these troub- 
lesome (as they must have seemed to them) and rebellious colonists. They 
were pupils in a bad school, the household of the Stuarts. 1 As a matter 
of policy, it was obviously unwise for Andros to irritate the town by for- 
cing his form of worship into a meeting-house against the will of its lawful 
owners. He had to build his own church at last. But we should fall into 
a great error if we should measure his act by the standard of toleration of 
our modern day. 

The enforced tenancy of the South Meeting-house did not wait to be 
brought to a close till the downfall of Governor Andros in April, 1689. 
The fact that the first wooden church was already nearly finished at that 
time is sufficient proof that the interference with property which gave such 
ofife*nce was a temporary though high-handed obedience to supposed neces- 
sity, and not a step towards confiscation. The foundations of the new 
building had been laid before the middle of October, 1688, and the frame 
was raised soon after. The last record by Sewall concerning the unwel- 
come tenants of the South Church reads thus: " Oct r . 28 [1688]. N. It 
seems y e Gov r took M r - Ratcliffe with him [on a journey to Dunstable], 

1 Randolph was probably in the family of the about him, now absent or dead." Greenwood, 

Duke of York before he became James II., while King's Chapel, p. 36. 

Andros had begun life as a page to Charles I. Sir Edmund had delayed too long. The 

They were loyal to church and king after building which at an earlier day must have been 

the old High Tory fashion. Randolph is de- accepted as a proper recognition of the State 

scribed by Dr. Ellis as "a persistent and pester- and the religion which the Governor represented, 

ing, if not unscrupulous, man." Of Andros Mr. was now considered to be his reluctant conces- 

Whitmore, in his Andros Tracts, says there is sion to public opinion. One of the complaints 

" no evidence that he was cruel, rapacious, or dis- most urged against him before William the 

honest," or immoral, and that " a hasty temper is Third was, " That the Service of the Church of 

the most palpable fault to be attributed to him." England has bin forced into their Meeteing 

But the domineering will of both Andros and Houses." 

Randolph came out in its harshest colors when Andros justified his course in his official 

brought in such collision with the will of the report to his superiors at home as follows : 

Puritans, which was as unyielding as the granite "The Church of England being unprovided of a 

of New England itself. place for theyr publique worship, he did, by 

These advocates were not such as wise men advise of the Councill, borrow the new meeting- 
would have chosen. Hut the cause which they house in Boston, at such times as the same was 
were advocating, though blindly, was of the best, unused, untill they could provide otherwise; 
And doubtless not a few of those who first met and accordingly on Sundays went in between 
in this way had a spirit worthy of the cause, eleven and twelve in the morning, and in the 
" In the most contentious and stormy periods," afternoon about fower. But understanding it 
says Dr. Greenwood, " I doubt not that a holy gave offence, hastned the building of a Church, 
calm was shed upon the heart of many a wor- w ch was effected at the charge of those of the 
shipper as he offered up his prayers in the way Church of England, where the Chaplaine of the 
which to him was best and most affecting, and Souldiers p r formcd divine service and preach- 
perhaps the way in which, long years ago, he ing." Sir E. Andros's Report of his Adminis- 
had offered them up in some ivy-clad village tration in Documents Relating to Colonial History 
church of green England, with many dear friends of N. Y., vol. iii. 



so met not at all distinct in our House y s day : Several of y m w th us in 
y* afternoon. Col. Lidget, M r Sherlock, Farvvell in our Pue, went to 
Contribution." As the custom was for the contributors to go up in the 
presence of the congregation, and give what they had to offer in the sight 
of all, this was a conspicuous act. It is pleasant to know that High 
Churchmen though these men were, and among those whom they loved 

not, they were Christian 
enough to join in the 
worship of the Puritans, 
and to contribute for its 
support, an example of 
charity which it is to be 
hoped that some of those 
with whom they thus held 
communion would have 
been willing to imitate in 
turn. Worship was first 
held in the new church 
on Sunday, June 8, 1689. 
It stood on a corner of 
the old burial-ground, 
covering the space now 
occupied by the tower 
and front part of the 
present King's Chapel. 

The Governor had first 
tried to purchase a site 
for the new church on 
Cotton Hill, nearly oppo- 
site; but Judge Sewall, who had no liking for Andros or for Episcopacy, 
felt that it would be a desecration of the ground on which Sir Henry 
Vane had built a house, and which on leaving the country he had given to 
John Cotton. He was more than once approached on the subject, and 
once particularly by Mr. Ratcliffe, but constantly replied that he " could 
not; first, because he would not set up that which the people of New Eng- 
land came over to avoid, and second, because the land was entailed." 

Finally the Governor and Council seem to have used their authority, as 
the supreme governing body, to appropriate a part of the corner from the 
old burying-ground, which probably was then but thinly tenanted. Ill-na- 
tured question is sometimes made of the rightful tenure of this spot by the 
church, but the question seems to be fairly answered by two facts: first, 

1 [The little vignette showing this original Whitmore, and others, is really taken from what 

wooden edifice, with Beacon Hill beyond, and is known as Price's View of Boston, of a date 

given by Dr. Greenwood in his Hist, of King's probably a few years later than 1720, and of 

C//rt/Was taken from an old print of Boston of which a later issue of 1743 is now only known, 

1720, and which has been copied by Drake, so far as has been discovered. lu.] 



only the smaller moiety of the land on which the present King's Chapel 1 
stands was obtained at that time, the other portion having been bought from 
the town when the present church was built, at an exorbitant price, suffi- 
cient to cover the fair value of all the land ; second, if the town had power 
to sell to the church in 1749, the Governor and Council, being the only law- 
ful authorities at the time, had the right to convey a piece of the public land 
in 1688. If it had not been so considered, the act would surely have been 
at least impugned, if not annulled, after the overthrow of Sir Edmund 
Andros. But no attempt to do so appears, even in Sewall's Diary?' 

Here, then, the modest little church was built at a cost of 284 i6s. or 
$1,425. To defray this expense, ninety-six persons throughout the colony 
had contributed 256 9-r., the balance being given by Andros on his depart- 
ure from the country, and by other English officers later. 

There was poetical justice in the fact that Andros and Randolph never 
entered the building which they had done so much to obtain. They were 
punished for their misdeeds of oppression by not enjoying their good deed, 
or seeing established the emblem of that form of religion for which they 
really cared. The church-book, on the next page to that which states the 
cost of the house, contains the following: "Note that on 18 Aprill pre- 
seeding the date on th' other side, began a most impious and detestable 
rebellion ag sl the King's Majes tys Government; the Govern' and all just men 
to the same were brought into restraint." There can be little doubt where 
the sympathies of the writer lay. If he was the Senior Warden it is not 
strange, as Dr. Bullivant had been one of those imprisoned. 

The storm of that time had well-nigh driven the little ark of the church 
from its anchorage. Even now, after the lapse of nearly two centuries, it is 
impossible to read the Andros Tracts without feeling the ground-swell of 
those waves of passion which tossed so fiercely in the little town of Boston. 
In July, 1689, Rev. Robert Ratcliffe returned to England. It is very un- 
likely, in the angry state of public feeling, that there was any public dedica- 
tion, or perhaps any consecration at all, of the wooden church. The very 
building itself seems to have been in some danger, for in those days there 
was such a power as the " Boston Mob." A pamphlet published in London 
in 1690, entitled New England's Faction Discovered ; by C. D., states that 
" the church itself had great difficulty to withstand their fury, receiving the 
marks of their indignation and scorn by having the Windows broke to 
pieces and the Doors and Walls daubed and defiled with dung and other 
filth in the rudest and basest manner imaginable, and the Minister for 
his safety was forced to leave the country and his congregation and go 
for England." 3 

1 As enlarged in 1754. the Committee of Seven, but make no mention 

2 The charges against Andros and others, of the taking of land for the Church, which 
given in Andros Tracts, i. 149-173, from Mass, they would surely do if that had been regarded 
Archives, Inter-Charter Papers, xxv. 255, bring as a usurpation. 

together everything which could be collected by 3 Andros Tracts, ii. 212. 


The church, however, survived to be fostered by the care and honored 
with the gifts of the successive monarchs of England, from William and 
Mary to George the Third. Under the long ministry of Rev. Samuel 
Myles it won the respect, if not the love, of its neighbors. The plain 
building was the only place in New England where the forms of the court 
church could be witnessed. The prayers and anthems which sounded 
forth in the cathedrals of the mother country were here no longer dumb. 
The equipages and uniforms which made gay the little court of Boston 
brightened its portals. Within, the escutcheons of Royal governors 
hung against the pillars; at Christmas it was wreathed with green; the 
music of the first organ heard in New England here broke the stillness 
of the Sabbath air. 1 

The religious struggle of twenty-five years was over. If it be asked 
which party won in it, the answer must be, Neither, and both. The 
despotism of Andros was overthrown ; the charter never was restored in its 
first fulness, but its work was wrought ; a people had been trained to great 
traditions of freedom, and these survived eighty-six years more and then 
burst into blossom and fruit. On the other hand the religious despotism of 
Puritanism was broken forever. Baptists, Episcopalians, Quakers, might 
henceforth worship as they would ; to-day, everything, anything, or noth- 
ing may be believed where for nearly sixty years the Calvinism of New 
England was all in all. 

1 This organ was the gift of Thomas Brattle. A Mr. Price was the first organist. Greenwood, 
Kings Chapel, p. 7^. 



Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

WHEN Winthrop and his company cast anchor in Salem harbor, in the 
summer of 1630, it was their intention to remain together and begin 
only a single settlement. With this view an exploration of the neighbor- 
hood was begun three days after the arrival of the " Arbella." 1 But circum- 
stances over which they had no control soon compelled them to relinquish 
this purpose. " We were forced," says Deputy Governor Dudley, in his 
letter to the Countess of Lincoln, " to change counsel, and for our present 
shelter to plant dispersedly, some at Charlestown, which standeth on the 
north s'ide of the mouth of Charles River ; some on the south side thereof, 
which place we named Boston (as we intended to have done the place we first 
resolved on) ; some of us upon Mistick, which we named Medford ; some of 
us westward on Charles River, four miles from Charlestown, which place we 
named Watertown ; others of us two miles from Boston, in a place we named 
Roxbury; others upon the river of Saugus, between Salem and Charles- 
town ; and the western men four miles south from Boston, at a place we 
named Dorchester." 2 Accordingly, at a Court of Assistants held at Charles- 
town on the /th of September, 1630, Old Style, which corresponds with the 
1 7th of September as time is now reckoned, it was ordered "that Trimoun- 
tain shall be called Boston." 3 This order is the only act of incorporation 
which Boston had under the colony charter. 

What was the extent, and what was the source of the powers, which the 
towns of Massachusetts exercised is by no means clear. It has been asserted 
by high authority that the principle on which the Plymouth Colony was 
founded, and the remark is equally true as to the Massachusetts Colony, 
required that while the inhabitants of the town " should remain a part of the 
whole, and be subject to the general voice in relation to all matters which 
concerned the whole colony, they should be allowed to be what their sepa- 
rate settlements had made them ; namely, distinct communities, in regard to 

1 Winthrop, New England, i. 27. The party 2 I Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 39 ; Young, Chron- 

was absent three days, went up Mystic River, ides of Mass. pp. 313, 314. 
and visited Noddle's Island and Nantasket. 3 Mass. Col. Records, i. 75. 

VOL I. 28. 


such affairs as concerned none but themselves." l There was no sharply 
defined line separating the powers which the town and the colony might 
respectively exercise ; and the limitations with which we are familiar grew up 
by slow degrees, or were created by orders of the General Court or the Court 
of Assistants, sometimes limited to the towns named in the order, and some- 
times of wider application. 2 So late as October, 1662, the General Court 
passed an order reciting that, notwithstanding the wholesome orders hither- 
to made by the selectmen of Boston against fast riding, many persons fre- 
quently galloped in the streets of that town, to the great danger of other 
persons, especially children ; and ordering that no one should, in future, 
gallop any horse there under a penalty of three shillings and four pence for 
each offence, to be paid, on conviction before any magistrate of the town, to 
the treasurer of the county of Suffolk. 3 And at a still later period, in Octo- 
ber, 1679, the General Court passed the following order: 

" For prevention of the profanation of the Sabbath, and disorders on Saturday night, 
by horses and carts passing late out of the town of Boston, it is ordered and enacted by 
this Court, that there be a ward from sunset, on Saturday night, until nine of the clock 
or after, consisting of one of the selectmen or constables of Boston, with two or more 
meet persons, who shall walk between the fortifications and the town's end, and upon 
no pretence whatsoever suffer any cart to pass out of the town after sunset, nor any 
footman or horseman, without such good account of the necessity of his business as 
may be to their satisfaction ; and all persons attempting to ride or drive out of town 
after sunset, without such reasonable satisfaction given, shall be apprehended and 
brought before authority to be proceeded against as Sabbath-breakers ; and all other 
towns are empowered to do the like as need shall be." 4 

The passage of such orders as these shows how undefined was the extent 
of the powers which the colonial authorities exercised in the first half- 
century after the settlement of the town. 

The need of some sharper distinction between the powers which the colony 
reserved to itself and those with which the town was invested seems to have 
strongly impressed the inhabitants of Boston. Twice, at least, during the 

1 Paper by Professor Joel Parker on "The towns, not repugnant to the laws and orders here 
Origin, Organization, and Influence of the Towns established by the General Court ; as also to lay 
of New England," in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., Jan- mulcts and penalties for the breach of these 
nary, 1866, pp. 29, 30. [Cf., further, Mr. Winsor's orders, and to levy and distrain the same, not 
references in the chapter on "Colonial Litera- exceeding the sum of twenty shillings; also to 
ture" in the present volume. ED.] choose their own particular officers, as consta- 

2 The most important of these orders was bles, surveyors for the highways, and the like." 
adopted by the General Court at the session in (Mass. Col. Records, \. 172.) In Quincy's Mini- 
March, 1635-36. It begins by reciting that "par- icipal History of Boston, p. i, the date of this 
ticular towns have many things which concern order is misprinted 1630. The order was not 
only themselves, and the ordering of their own passed until Boston had been settled between 
affairs, and disposing of business in their own five and six years. The true date is of import- 
town." Therefore power was granted to them ance in tracing the history of town governments 
" to dispose of their own lands and woods, with in Massachusetts. 

all the privileges and appurtenances of the 8 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. ii. pp. 59, 60. 
said towns, to grant lots, and make such orders * Ibid. v. 239, 240. [See Mr. Scudder's 
as may concern the well-ordering of their own chapter in this volume. En.| 


colonial period they petitioned for an act of incorporation. In May, 1650, 
in answer to a petition from the inhabitants of Boston, the Court declared a 
willingness " to grant the petitioners a corporation, if the articles or terms, 
privileges and immunities thereof, were so presented as rationally should 
appear, respecting the mean condition of the country, fit for the Court 
to grant; " and the petitioners were required to present their propositions 
at the next session. 1 So far as now appears; nothing further was done 
at that time; and in May, 1659, the Court, in answer to a request of the 
town of Boston to be made a corporation, granted them " liberty to consult 
and advise amongst themselves what may be necessary for such an end, and 
the same to draw up into a form and present the same to the next session." a 
Again, three years later, in May, 1662, in answer to a petition of the inhabi- 
tants of Boston " for some further power in reference to the well ordering of 
trade and tradesmen, and the suppressing of the vices so much abounding 
there," a committee was appointed " to peruse the charter now in Court, and 
consider how far it is meet to be granted, or what else they shall judge meet 
for the attaining of the ends above mentioned, and to make return of what 
they shall conclude upon to the next Court of Election." 3 In October, 
1663, the same committee was reappointed. with the same instructions, ex- 
pressed in almost precisely the same words ; 4 but it does not appear that 
any report was ever made by the committee, and here the matter apparently 
dropped. It is curious to notice how little trace of these applications has 
been left on the town records. There is not a single entry in them near 
the date of the orders of the Court which can be directly connected with 
these petitions for a charter ; and the only votes of the town which can be 
supposed to have even a remote reference to the matter were in October, 
1652, and October, i658. 5 But in May, 1677, the town instructed her depu- 
ties to the General Court to use their endeavors " that this town may be 
a corporation, or made town and county." 6 

In the original laying out of the towns the bounds were very loosely 
described, and controversies naturally arose at a very early date between 
adjoining towns as to the extent of territory belonging to each. The pen- 
insula of Boston touched only one of the neighboring towns, Roxbury; but 
from the narrow limits which Nature had assigned to her, her inhabitants 
were forced to seek "enlargement" beyond the peninsula, and Noddle's 
Island and extensive tracts at Pullen Point, Mount Wollaston, and Rumney 
Marsh were at different times granted to Boston by orders of the General 
Court. 7 Questions of boundary frequently arose under these grants, 
and committees were appointed by the Court, or by the town, to settle 

1 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 9. The 5 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, 
charter which was asked for at this time is pp. 112, 148. 

printed in the A 7 . E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg. 6 MS. Records of the Town of Boston (in the 

xi. 206-210. [The original document is in the office of the City Clerk), ii. 106. 

Secretary s office at the State House. ED.| " Mass. Col. Records, i. 101, 1 19, 130, 189. |Cf. 

2 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 368. also Wood's A r r,u England's Prospect, a quota- 
8 Ibid. vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 56. tion in Shurtleff's Description of Boston, p. 41 ; 
4 Ibid. p. 99. also pp. 32, 33. En.| 


the differences and establish the boundaries. So early as December, 1636, a 
committee was appointed at a general town-meeting to consider about form- 
ing a town and church at Mount Wollaston, with the consent of the inhabi- 
tants of Boston; 1 and three years later, in January, 1639-40, the selectmen 
entered into an agreement with a committee acting in behalf of the residents 
at the Mount, by which Boston, in consideration of certain payments into her 
treasury, consented to the formation of a new town there, " if the Court shall 
think fit to grant them to be a town of themselves." 2 At the session of the 
General Court, in the following May, " The petition of the inhabitants of 
Mount Wollaston was voted, and granted them to be a town according to 
the agreement with Boston, provided that if they fulfil not the covenant 
made with Boston, and hereto affixed, it shall be in the power of Boston to 
recover their due by action against the said inhabitants, or any of them ; and 
the town is to be called Braintree." 3 Muddy River had probably belonged 
to Boston from the first settlement of the town ; but the first mention of it 
in the Colony Records is in September, 1634,* when the General Court, at a 
session held in Cambridge, ordered "that the ground about Muddy River, 
belonging to Boston, and used by the inhabitants thereof, shall hereafter be- 
long to New Town, the wood and timber thereof growing and to be growing 
to be reserved to the inhabitants of Boston; provided, and it is the meaning 
of the Court, that if Mr. Hooker and the congregation now settled here shall 
remove hence, that then " the ground at Muddy River shall revert to Boston. 5 
Hooker and most of his congregation removed to Connecticut in the sum- 
mer of 1636 ; 6 and the title of the lands accordingly reverted to Boston. 
Muddy Brook continued to be a part of Boston until 1705, when it was 
made a town by the name of Brookline." Rumney Marsh and the adjacent 
territory remained for a still longer period under the jurisdiction of Boston ; 
and it was not until near the middle of the last century that these lands were 
set off from Boston, and incorporated under the name of Chelsea. 8 

In each of these outlying districts grants of land were made by the town, 
sometimes of extensive tracts to prominent individuals, and sometimes, 
especially at Muddy River, to " the poorer sort." For instance, in October, 
1634, a grant was made to Mr. Wilson, pastor of the church, of two hundred 
acres of land at Mount Wollaston, in exchange for an equal quantity of land 
on Mystic River previously granted to him by the General Court. 9 Subse- 

1 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, building the house of William Amory, Esq., in 
p. 14. Longwood. Pierce, Address, p. 8. ED.] 

2 Ibid. p. 47. 6 Mass. Col. Records, i. 129, 130. [The town 
8 Mass. Col. Records, \. 291. of Brookline printed, in 1875, sucn extracts from 
4 [Two years before this, in 1632, Winthrop the Boston Records as pertain to Muddy River, 

in his Journal had mentioned that ten Sagamores together with the records of the town to 1837, 

and many Indians were gathered at Muddy under the title of Muddy River and Brookline 

River when Underbill, with twenty musketeers, Records, 1634-1838. ED.] 

was sent to reconnoitre their camp. II. F. 6 Winthrop, New England, i. 187. 

Woods, Historical Sketches of Brookline, p. 10, 7 Brookline Records, p. 91. 

says vestiges of this old Indian fort on a knoll in 8 Province Laws, ii. 969-971. 

the great swamp were discernible up to 1844-45, 9 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, 

when the ground was levelled in preparation for pp. 2, 3; Mass. Col. Records, i. 114. 



quently the town relinquished to him all claims to the land at Mystic, in con- 
sequence of defects in the title to the land at Mount Wollaston, which had 


1 [This old house, still standing near the 
Episcopal Church in Longwood, was built by 
Peter Aspinwall about 1660, and has descended 
through lineal descendants (Samuel, Thomas, 
Dr. William) to the late Colonel Thomas As- 
pinwall. Though still owned by the family, the 
last of the name to occupy it lived there till 
1803. The original deed of the land from Wil- 
liam Colburn to Robert Sharpe is dated 1650, 
and is in the family's keeping. Wood, Brookline, 
ch. v. A famous elm, of which the stump still 
remains, once shaded the house. According to 
the No. Amer. Rev., July, 1844, it sprung up about 
1 656 ; but Dr. Pierce, Historical Address, p. 38, says 
it was planted about 1700. Mr. G. B. Emerson 

says that " it was known to be one hundred and 
eighty-one years old in 1837, and then measured 
twenty-six feet five inches at the ground, and 
sixteen feet eight inches at five feet. The 
branches extended one hundred and four feet 
from southeast to northwest, and ninety-five 
feet from northeast to southwest." Trees and 
Shrubs in Mass., &c., ii. 326. Our cut follows a 
photograph taken before 1860, and before the 
great tree fell, which was in September, 1863; 
and at that time it measured twenty-six feet 
girth at the ground, and sixteen feet eight 
inches at five feet from the ground, showing 
much the same dimensions as twenty-five years 
before. ED.] 


involved him in some expenses. 1 In December, 1635, a committee of five of 
the freemen was appointed at a general town-meeting, to " go and take view 
at Mount Wollaston, and bound out there what may be sufficient for Mr. 
William Coddington and Edmund Quincy to have for their particular farms 
there ; " to " lay out at Muddy River a sufficient allotment for a farm for our 
Teacher, Mr. John Cotton ; " and also to lay out farms there for Mr. William 
Colburn, and for the two Elders, Mr. Thomas Oliver and Thomas Leverett. 
At the same time it was voted, " That the poorer sort of inhabitants, such as 
are members or likely so to be, and have no cattle, shall have their propor- 
tion of allotments for planting ground and other assigned unto them by the 
alloters, and laid out at Muddy River by the aforenamed five persons, or four 
of them ; those that fall between the foot of the hill and the water to have 
but four acres upon a head, and those that are farther off" to have five acres 
for every head." 2 Provision was likewise made for laying out the allotments 
at Rumney Marsh. The committee apparently made no report until January, 
1637-38, when the allotments were entered at length in the town records. 3 

From her favorable position at the head of the bay Boston could scarcely 
fail to become, and continue to be, the chief place in the growing colony ; 
and so early as October, 1632, the Court agreed, "by general consent, that 
Boston is the fittest place for public meetings of any place in the Bay." 4 
Previously to that time, however, it had been a matter of uncertainty wheth- 
er Boston or Cambridge would be the seat of government ; and the sharp 
controversy between Dudley and Winthrop, growing out of the failure of 
the latter to remove to Cambridge, is one of the most curious incidents in 
their personal relations : but it need not be considered here. 5 It is sufficient 
to say that the purpose to make Cambridge the capital was relinquished, 
and steps were taken at an early date to secure Boston from attacks by sea 
as well as by land. From Winthrop's Journal we learn that a fort was begun 
on the eminence known to the first settlers as the Corn Hill, but which was 
called in later time Fort Hill, toward the end of May, 1632, and that the 
people of Boston, Charlestown, Roxbury, and Dorchester worked on it on 
successive days. 6 The work was not completed at that time; and in the 
following May the General Court ordered " that the fort at Boston shall be 
finished with what convenient speed may be, at the public charge." 7 A few 
months later it was ordered that " every hand (except magistrates and min- 
isters) shall afford their help to the finishing of the fort at Boston, till it be 
ended." 8 This was not all that was deemed necessary for defence on the 
waterside; and in July, 1634, the Governor and Council, several of the min- 
isters, and other persons met at Castle Island, and there agreed to erect 

1 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, 6 Winthrop, New England, i. 77. 
p. 6. 7 Mass. Col. Records, \. 105. 

2 Ibid. p. 6. 8 Ibid. p. 108. |Cf. Shurtleff's Desc. of Bos- 
8 Ibid. pp. 22 et seq. ton, p. 164. The records mention, in 1635-36, 

4 Mass. Col. Records, i. 101. "y* ingineer Mr. Lyon Garner, who doth soe 

5 Winthrop, New England, \. 82-86. [Cf. freely offer his help thereunto." Lyon Gardiner 
Mr. R. C. Winthrop's chapter in the present was, a little later, prominent in the Pequot war. 
volume. ED.] See Mr. Bynner's chapter. ED.| 


" two platforms and one small fortification to secure them both ; and for the 
present furtherance of it they agreed to lay out .5 a man, till a rate might 
be made at the next General Court." l Accordingly, at the General Court 
in September, it was ordered " that there shall be a platform made on the 
northeast side of Castle Island, and an house built on the top of the hill to 
defend the said platform." 2 In the following March, it was ordered by the 
General Court " that there shall be forthwith a beacon set on the Sentry 
Hill at Boston, to give notice to the country of any danger, and that there 
shall be a ward of one person kept there from the first of April to the last 
of September ; and that upon the discovery of any danger the beacon shall 
be fired, an alarm given, as also messengers presently sent by that town 
where the danger is discovered to all other towns within this jurisdiction." 3 
In March of the following year, 1636, the Court granted to the inhabitants 
of Boston the use of six pieces of ordnance, and gave them thirty pounds 
in money toward the making of a platform at the foot of Fort Hill, requir- 
ing the inhabitants of the town to finish "the said work at their own proper 
charges before the General Court in May next." 4 The defence of the town 
on the land side began at a much earlier period ; and in the April after their 
arrival Winthrop wrote in his Journal, but afterward for some unknown 
reason erased the entry, " we began a court of guard upon the neck between 
Roxbury and Boston, whereupon should always be resident an officer and 
six men." 5 These ample preparations, however, were not always kept up ; 
the fortifications frequently fell into decay, and the garrisons were with- 
drawn, to be renewed whenever a new occasion of alarm arose. The colony 
and the town were equally reluctant to spend money on defences for which 
there seemed to be no probability of an immediate need ; but they were 
always on the alert whenever a new danger arose. Thus in May, 1649, the 
Deputies voted, that " there being many ships in the harbor, and divers of 
them strangers, the Court judgeth meet to order that a military watch be 
forthwith appointed in Boston and Charlestown, to continue till any four 
magistrates shall see cause to alter it." 6 

So little did the founders of the colony anticipate the establishment of 
numerous and scattered settlements, that at the first Court of Assistants, in 
answer to the question how the ministers should be maintained, " it was 
ordered that houses should be built for them with convenient speed, at the 
common charge ; " and in answer to the further question, what should be 
their present maintenance, after enumerating what should be given them, it 
was added, " all this to be at the common charge, those of Mattapan and 
Salem only excepted." 7 It is not much to the credit of the first settlers of 
Boston, that when Mr. Cotton came over a few years later they desired to 
have this precedent apply to his support; but on "second thoughts" the 

1 Winthrop, New England, \. 137. * Ibid. p. 165. 

2 Mass. Col. Records, i. 123. [Shurtleff, p. 5 Winthrop, Neiv England, i. 54. 
475, traces in some detail the history of this for- 6 Mass. Col. Records, iii. 162. 

tification. ED.] " Ibid. i. 73. The exception was probably 

8 Mass. Col. Records, i. 137. because these places already had ministers. 


council did not see any sufficient reason why the colony treasury should con- 
tribute to the support of a minister for Boston. 1 Though the Boston minister 
soon ceased to derive any part of his support from the colony rates, his suc- 
cessors continued to exert an important influence on colonial politics till the 
very end of the charter government. From Winthrop's language it would 
appear that the first meeting-house in Boston was not built until the town 
had been settled for nearly two years, and that the cost, both of the meeting- 
house and of a house for the minister, was defrayed, in part at least, by a 
voluntary contribution. 2 The same course was pursued some years afterward, 
when it became necessary to build a new meeting-house in place of the old 
one. " The church of Boston," says Winthrop, under date of February, 
1640-41, "were necessitated to build a new meeting-house, and a great dif- 
ference arose about a place of situation, which had much troubled other 
churches on the like occasion ; but after some debate it was referred to a 
committee, and was quietly determined. It cost about ,1000, which was 
raised out of the weekly voluntary contribution without any noise or com- 
plaint, when in some other churches which did it by way of rates there was 
much difficulty and compulsion by levies to raise a far less sum." 3 

During the first ten years the town grew rapidly in wealth and popula- 
tion, and it has been estimated that before the breaking out of the civil war 
in England about twenty thousand persons had emigrated to New England. 4 
Of these a much larger number settled in Boston than in any other place. 
But with the meeting of the Long Parliament the immigration nearly ceased. 
" The Parliament of England setting upon a general reformation both of 
Church and State," says Winthrop, in June, 1641, "the Earl of Strafford 
being beheaded, and the archbishop (our great enemy) and many others 
of the great officers and judges, bishops and others, imprisoned and called 
to account, this caused all men to stay in England in expectation of a new 
world ; so as few coming to us all foreign commodities grew scarce, and our 
own of no price." 6 The assessments of the colony taxes will afford an ap- 
proximate idea of the relative wealth and population of the several towns. 
In October, 1633, it was ordered that ^400 should be collected from eleven 
plantations " to defray public charges." Of this sum Dorchester was to 
pay 80 ; Boston, Roxbury, Cambridge, Watertown, and Charlestown, .48 
each; and Salem, 2%.* In September of the following year a tax of 600 
was ordered to be levied. In this assessment Dorchester, Cambridge, and 
Boston were each to contribute 80; Roxbury, 70; and Salem, ^45- 7 In 

1 Winthrop, New England, \. 112. Hutchin- 2 Winthrop, New England, i. 87. 

son, who published the first volume of his His- z Ibid. ii. 24. See also Emerson's History 

tory of Massachusetts Bay in 1764, says: "The of the First Church, p. 65. 

ministers of the several churches in the town of 4 Hutchinson, Hist, of the Col. of Mass. Bay, 

Boston have ever been supported by a free p. iii. (preface). This estimate has been adopted 

weekly contribution. I have seen a letter from by Dr. Palfrey and by other writers, and has been 

one of the principal ministers of the colony ex- made the basis of some curious calculations. 

pressing some doubts of the lawfulness of receiv- 5 Winthrop, Neio England, ii. 31. 

ing a support in any other way." (Hist, of the 6 Mass. Col. Records, i. no. 

Col. of Mass. Bay, from 1628 to 1691, p. 427.) 7 Ibid. p. 129. 


May, 1636, the General Court appointed a committee " to require the last 
rates of each town in the plantation, and to find out thereby, and by all 
other means they can according to the best of their discretion, the true 
value of every town, and so to make an equal rate." 1 A similar vote was 
passed in the following September ; 2 but in neither instance was any change 
made in the last rate of assessment. In April, 1637, the Court ordered a 
levy of soldiers for the Pequot war. The whole number to be raised, in- 
cluding those already in the service, was 211. Of this number Boston was 
to furnish 35 ; Dorchester, 17 ; Charlestown, 16; Roxbury, 13; Cambridge, 
12 ; and Salem, 24, fourteen towns being included in the levy. 3 The next 
colony tax was in August of the same year, when in an assessment of ^400 
Boston was required to pay 59 4s.; Salem, 4$ I2s. ; Dorchester and 
Charlestown, .42 6s. each; Roxbury, 30 8s. ; and Cambridge, 29 I2J. 4 
From a comparison of these figures it would appear that in 1637 Boston 
was not only the most populous, but also the wealthiest town in the colony. 
In May, 1640, not quite ten years after the settlement of Boston, a tax 
of .1200 was ordered to be levied on seventeen towns. Of this sum Boston 
was to contribute ^179, or almost exactly fifteen per cent; Braintree, which 
it will be remembered was set off from Boston in the same month, 25 ; 
Cambridge, ;ioo; Dorchester, 95; Charlestown, ,90; Roxbury, 75; 
and Salem, 115 

The first windmill was erected in August, 1632, having been brought 
down from Cambridge, because, where it first stood, " it would not grind 
but with a westerly wind." 6 Four years later another windmill was erected ; 7 
and subsequently other windmills were built on the various hills in the 
town, 8 and tidemills were also introduced. For the purpose of encouraging 
the erection of a watermill, the town granted, in July, 1643, all the cove and 
the salt marsh bordering upon it northwest of the causeway leading to 
Charlestown, together with three hundred acres of land at Braintree, on 
condition that the grantees should, within three years, erect one or more 
corn mills to be maintained forever. 9 The cove thus granted was known, 
down to our own time, as the mill-pond ; and, in order that the grant to the 
mill-owners might not interfere with the rights of other persons, the grantees 
were required to make and maintain forever a gate ten feet in width, to 
open at flood tide for the passage of boats, so that they might arrive at 
" their ordinary landing places." 

It is not known when the first wharf was built; but in January, 1638-39, 
the town granted " to the owners of the wharf and crane one hundred acres 

1 Mass. Col, Records, i. 175. ' Winthrop, New England, i. 196. About 

2 Ibid. p. 180. the same time a windmill was erected at 
a Ibid. p. 192. Charlestown. 

4 Ibid. p. 201. 8 [So late as 1824 a large windmill stood at 
b Ibid. p. 294. Windmill Point, on the easterly side of the South 
6 Winthrop, New England, i. 87. This wind- Cove, and is shown in the view of Boston en- 
mill appears to have been placed on Copp's Hill graved that year in Snow's History. ED.) 
(see Wood's New England 's Prospect, in publi- s Second Report of the Record Commissioners, 
cations of the Prince Society, p. 42). p. 74. |See Mr. Bynner's chapter. ED.) 
VOL. I. 29. 


of land at Mount Wollaston, next to the allotments already granted, toward 
the repairing and maintaining of the said wharf and crane." 1 It seems 
probable, therefore, that there had been a wharf for a sufficient length of 
time for it to fall into decay and to need " repairing." Not long afterward 
a much more comprehensive scheme was planned for facilitating a com- 
mercial intercourse with other places. In November, 1641, the town 
granted to Valentine Hill and his associates and successors a considerable 
tract of " waste ground " near Dock Square, for a specified term of years, 
dependent on their purchase of various wharf-rights, and on the cost of 
repairs and other charges incurred by them ; and, in consideration of the 
improvements which they proposed to make, the grantees were authorized 
to collect tonnage and wharfage dues from all persons who should land 
goods there, except persons whose lands bounded on the granted territory, 
who might land, free of charge, goods for their own use, but not for sale. 
Provision was likewise made for the valuation of the warehouses and other 
buildings to be erected, and for keeping the wharves in repair, all of which 
were to become the property of the town at the expiration of the period 
covered by the grant. 2 The proper charges for the use of these and other 
wharves were regarded by the colonial authorities as matters within their 
discretion; and in October, 1641, the General Court appointed a committee 
" to settle the rates of wharfage, porterage, and warehouse hire, and certify 
the next General Court, and the order to stand the meanwhile." 3 In 
November, 1646, the Court adopted a minute schedule of charges, to re- 
main in force until the Court of Election in 1648; and the owners of 
wharves, whether at Boston or at Charlestown, were " required to attend 
to these rules for wharfage of such goods." 4 From time to time new rules 
and regulations on the subject were made by the same authority. 

But by far the most important enterprise of this kind was undertaken 
near the close of the colonial period, and was designed partly to secure the 
town from any attack by a hostile fleet, and partly to encourage maritime 
trade. In the summer of 1673 the Court of Assistants recommended to 
the town to cause a sea-wall or wharf to be erected in front of the town, 
from the Sconce to Captain Scarlett's wharf, or to adopt some other means 
for securing the town against fire ships in case of the approach of an 
enemy. At a town-meeting held in September it was voted not to carry 
on so extensive an undertaking at the public charge ; but the selectmen 
were authorized to make such a disposition of the flats as they might think 
best for promoting the execution of the proposed work by private enter- 
prise. Accordingly, a few days afterward, the selectmen issued proposals 
for the construction of a wall or wharf of wood or stone from Captain 
Scarlett's wharf, which was at the foot of Fleet Street, in a straight line to 
the Sconce, or south battery, near the head of India wharf, a distance of 
about twenty-two hundred feet. The wall or wharf was to be twenty-two 

1 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, p. 37. 8 Mass. Col. Kecords, i. 341. 

2 Ibid. pp. 63, 64. * Ibid. ii. 170, 171. 


feet in breadth at the bottom and twenty feet at the top; and it was 
supposed that the necessary height would be fourteen or fifteen feet, with a 
breastwork for cannon, and suitable openings for the passage of vessels. In 
consideration of the execution of the work in the manner proposed, the 
undertakers were to have a grant in perpetuity of all the flats within the wall, 
with liberty to build wharves and warehouses for a distance of two hundred 
feet back from the wall, the remainder to be kept as an open cove, but 
with the reservation of certain rights to those persons who already abutted 
on the shore line. And the undertakers were to have all the income which 
they might derive from anchorage or wharfage dues from vessels sheltered 
within the cove, or from grants of the privilege of fishing there. 1 Under 
these proposals forty-one subscribers undertook the work, in sections vary- 
ing in length from twenty to one hundred and fifty feet. 2 The work was 
prosecuted with very little energy; but at the General Court held in May, 
1 68 1, more than seven years afterward, an order was passed setting 
forth " that, at the great cost, pains, and hazard of said undertakers, a sea 
wall hath been built, and almost finished, for the safety of said town and 
this his Majesty's colony ; " wherefore " the said undertakers, their heirs, 
executors, administrators, and assigns, or major part of them, shall have 
power to make orders for finishing and preserving the said wall, the regu- 
lating of themselves, and appointing persons among themselves to manage 
their affairs," &c. 3 Fortunately, the wharf was never needed for purposes 
of defence, and it soon fell into decay. It is shown on Franquelin's map 
of 1693 ; but on Bonner's map of 1722, and on Burgiss's map of 1729, only 
its general outline can be traced, and probably neither of these is accurate 
in its delineation. 4 

A little more than two months after the town was settled, arrangements 
were made for setting up a ferry between Boston and Charlcstown ; and at a 
Court of Assistants, Nov. 9, 1630, it was ordered " that whosoever shall first 
give in his name to Mr. Governor that he will undertake to set up a ferry 
betwixt Boston and Charlestown, and shall begin the same at such time as 
Mr. Governor shall appoint, shall have one penny for every person, and 
one penny for every hundred weight of goods he shall so transport." 5 In 
November, 1637, tne Governor and Treasurer were authorized to lease the 
ferry for the term of three years at the rate of 40 per annum ; 6 and at the 
expiration of that time it was granted to the college. 7 In September, 1638, 
the General Court ordered a ferry to be set up " from Boston to Winnissim- 

1 A/S. Keconis of the Town of Boston, ii. Wharf, ran pretty nearly in the direction of the 

81,82. present Atlantic Avenue. Portions of it form- 

- Ibid. pp. 82, 83. ing island wharfs are seen in the map of 1824 in 

3 Mass. Col. Records, v. 310, 311. Snow's Boston. Cf. Shurtleff's Description of 

4 | It is also shown between the South Bat- Boston, p. 118. ED.-) 

tcry and Long Wharf in Bonner's sketch of the 5 Mass. Col. Records, \. 81. 

waterfront, made in 1714, and figured elsewhere (l Ibid. p. 208. 

in this work. This "out-wharf," as it was some- '' Ibid. p. 304. See also Quincy's History of 

times called, of which a portion was still con- Harvard University, ii. 271, 272. The college 

cealed in the .structure known in our day as T enjoyed this income until 1785. 


met, Noddle's Island, and the ships; the person to be appointed by the 
magistrates of Boston." l Three years later the Court passed a general 
order regulating the use of ferries, and providing that every person to whom 
a ferry was granted should have " the sole liberty of transporting passen- 
gers from the place where such ferry is granted to any other ferry, or place 
where ferry-boats used to land, and that any ferry-boat that shall land 
passengers at any other ferry may not take passengers from thence, if the 
ferry-boat of the place be ready; provided that this order shall not preju- 
dice the liberty of any that do use to pass in their own or neighbors' 
canoes or boats to their ordinary labors or business." 2 In November, 1646, 
an order was passed prohibiting the overcrowding of ferry-boats, and 
regulating the manner in which passengers should go on board. 3 It seems 
to have been tacitly recognized that the establishment and regulation of 
ferries were exclusively within the powers of the colonial government; but 
in two or three instances the town seems to have set up a ferry by its own 
authority. In January, 1635-36, Thomas Marshall was chosen to keep "a 
ferry from the mill point unto Charlestown, and to Winnissimmet; " in 
December, 1637, it was agreed that Edward Bendall should keep " a suffi- 
cient ferry-boat to carry to Noddle's Island and to the ships riding before 
the town; " and in January, 1646-47, George Halsoll was ordered to " keep 
and employ a passage boat between his wharf and the ships where the ships 
ride," and no other person was " to make use of his wharf or landing place 
for hire or reward, but it shall be lawful for any seamen or others to pass 
to and fro from said landing place in their own boats without paying any- 
thing for themselves or friends." 4 It is probable, however, that these ap- 
pointments were either temporary, or were made subject to the action of 
the General Court. 

From the first the town was careful to prevent encroachments on the 
streets and highways, and to keep them clean ; but she does not seem to 
have been equally careful to keep them in a safe condition. For this neg- 
lect Boston was frequently fined, or threatened with a fine, by the General 
Court; and she was also required from time to time to build or repair 
bridges and highways, or to contribute a proportionate part of the expense 
of building or repairing them. For instance, in March, 1634-35, it was or- 
dered that a sufficient cart bridge should be built over Muddy River " before 
the next General Court, and that Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, New Town, 
and Watertown shall equally contribute to it." 6 In December, 1638, the town 
was fined ten shillings for defective highways and want of a watch-house, 
and allowed until the next court to remedy the neglect. 6 Apparently the 
town paid little or no attention to this order, and in the following June 
" Boston was fined twenty shillings for defective highways, and enjoined to 
repair them, upon the penalty of five pounds." 7 Six months later, " Boston, 

1 Mass. Col. Records, i. 241. Mass. Col. Records, \. 141. 

2 Ibid. p. 338. Ibid. p. 247. 

3 Ibid. ii. 170. " Ibid. p. 266. 

4 Second A't'jft of the Record Com. pp. 7, 22, 89. 


for defect of their ways between Powder-Horn Hill and the written tree, is 
fined twenty shillings, and enjoined to mend them ; " but on a representa- 
tion that the ways were " new laid out," the town was allowed, in October 
of the next year, further time to repair them. 1 At the expiration of that 
time the General Court passed a more peremptory order, " that the highway 
between the written tree and Winnisimmet should be made sufficient for 
carts, horses, and men by Boston, within three months, upon pain of twenty 
pounds." 2 Again, in May, 1670, the Court passed an order that, "Whereas 
the country highway over some part of Rumney Marsh was laid out long 
since, from a point of upland to the written tree, and the said way was never 
made passable, but in stead thereof a causey or bridge hath been made in 
another place, which hath been made use of, but is now and hath been often 
out of repair : it is ordered that the selectmen of Boston shall take speedy 
care to make and maintain a sufficient causey or bridge over the marsh and 
creek where the way was laid out first, or to see and cause the causey and 
bridge that is already made to be sufficiently repaired, and so kept from 
time to time." 3 On the other hand the town passed numerous orders for the 
abatement of nuisances in the thickly settled neighborhoods ; and in Octo- 
ber, 1649, the selectmen made a general order "that no person whatsoever 
shall suffer any stones, clay, timber, or firewood, boards or clapboards, or 
any other thing that may annoy the town's streets, to lie above forty-eight 
hours, upon penalty of five shillings for every default." 4 To a similar pur- 
pose is the following order passed by the selectmen in January, 1657-58: 
" Forasmuch as sundry complaints are made that several persons have re- 
ceived hurt by boys and young men playing at foot-ball in the streets, these 
are therefore to enjoin that none be found at that game in any of the streets, 
lanes, or enclosures of this town, under the penalty of twenty shillings for 
every such offence." 5 

From a very early period the town began to take precautions against the 
harboring of strangers who might become a charge; and in May, 1636, " it 
was ordered that no townsmen shall entertain any strangers into their houses 
for above fourteen days, without leave from those that are appointed to or- 
der the town's businesses." 6 At a later period, in March, 1647, the scope 
of this order was somewhat enlarged, and a definite penalty for any neglect 
to comply with its provisions was established. At that time it was " ordered 
that no inhabitant shall entertain man or woman from any other town or 
country as a sojourner or inmate with an intent to reside here, but shall give 
notice thereof to the selectmen of the town for their approbation within 
eight days after their coming to the town, upon penalty of twenty shillings." 
At the same time it was ordered that no inhabitant should let or sell to any 
person any house or houses within the town, "without first acquainting the 

1 Mass. Col. A'ecords, i. 285, 310. (The " writ- 4 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, 

ten tree" was on the present bounds between p. 98. 
Everett and Revere. ED.| 6 Ibid. p. 141. 

- Ibid. p. 338. 6 Ibid. p. 10. 

3 Ibid. vol. iv. pt. ii p. 450. 



selectmen of the town therewith." 1 In March, 1652, both of these orders 
were re-enacted. 2 Some years later, in June, 1659, at a general town- 
meeting further orders were made on the subject, reciting that, " Whereas 
sundry inhabitants in this town have not so well attended to former orders 
made for the securing the town from sojourners, inmates, hired servants, 
journeymen, or other persons that come for help in physic or chirurgery, 
whereby no little damage hath already, and much more may accrue to the 
town : for the prevention whereof it is therefore ordered that whosoever 
of our inhabitants shall henceforth receive any such persons before named 
into their houses or employment, without liberty granted from the select- 
men, shall pay twenty shillings for the first week, and so from week to week 
twenty shillings, so long as they retain them, and shall bear all the charge 
that may accrue to the town by every such sojourner, journeyman, hired 
servant, inmate, &c., received or employed as aforesaid." 3 Provision was 
made, however, that if a satisfactory bond were given to the selectmen to 
secure the town from all charges, and the persons received were not " of 
notorious evil life and manners," the fine might be remitted; and if anyone 
who had given such a bond should give " such orderly notice to the select- 
men that the town may be fully cleared of such person or persons so 
received," his bond should be given up. Meanwhile, as a further precau- 
tionary measure, it was ordered, in March, 1657, "that henceforth no per- 
sons shall have liberty to keep shops within this town, or set up manufac- 
tures, unless they first be admitted inhabitants into the town." * On the 
breaking out of Philip's war the town took steps to prevent being burdened 
with charges which properly belonged to the whole colony; and under date 
of November, 1675, the town clerk made the following record: "An 
humble request was presented to the General Court to settle some general 
way whereby those persons or families who by the outrage of the enemy 
were bereaved of all means of their subsistence, or forced from their habi- 
tations, many whereof have come into this town, may find such relief and 
redress that no particular town may be burdened thereby." 5 

After the great fire of 1676, which destroyed among other buildings the 
Second Church and Increase Mather's house, 6 an order was issued by the 
Court of Assistants, or Council, as it was often called, restraining any per- 
son from building within the burnt district before the next General Court, 
" without the advice and order of the selectmen." Subsequently the select- 
men widened the street, now known as Hanover Street, to what was probably 
a nearly uniform width of twenty-two feet; and thereupon the Court passed 
an order that " The act of the council and return of the selectmen of Bos- 
ton, as above, being read and perused by the Court, who took notice that 
the street, as now laid out, is made wider and more accommodable to the 

1 Si-fontt Report <>/ the Record Commissioners, G /IAS". Records of the Tmvn of Boston, ii. 94. 

p. go. c Hutchinson, Hist, of the Col. of Mass. Bay, 

- Ibid. p. 109. p. 349, note ; Cotton Mather, Parentator, p. 79; 

3 Ibid. p. 152. Sewall, Diary, in 5 Mass. Hist. Coll. v. 29. |Sce 

4 Ibid. p. 135. Mr. Hymier's chapter. ED. | 


public, and due satisfaction given and received by all persons concerned, one 
only excepted, the Court approves of the act of the selectmen, and orders 
it to be proceeded in, and the person that hath not consented, to have the 
like proportionable satisfaction tendered him for so much of his land that is 
taken and staked out to the street." 1 

A few months later, after the fire of 1679 which destroyed eighty dwell- 
ing houses and seventy warehouses, " the most woful desolation that Bos- 
ton ever saw," 2 the General Court passed the first building law for the 
town : " This Court, having a sense of the great ruins in Boston by fire, 
and hazard still of the same, by reason of the joining and nearness of their 
buildings, for prevention of damage and loss thereby for future, do order and 
enact that henceforth no dwelling-house in Boston shall be erected and set 
up except of stone or brick, and covered with slate or tile, on penalty of 
forfeiting double the value of such buildings, unless by allowance and liberty 
obtained otherwise from the magistrates, commissioners, and selectmen of 
Boston or major part of them." 3 At the same session an order was passed 
that certain persons were " under vehement suspicion of attempting to burn 
the town of Boston, and some of their endeavors prevailed to the burning of 
one house, and only by good Providence prevented from further damage," 
and therefore the Court ordered ten persons, within twenty days, to " depart 
this jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Colony; and in case of the return of 
any of the abovesaid persons without license first had from the governor 
and council, such offenders shall be committed to close prison until they pay 
the sum of twenty pounds in money, and give good security to depart this 
jurisdiction, and not return again contrary to this order." 4 In the follow- 
ing May the Court, on a petition from some of the inhabitants setting forth 
that many persons, in consequence of their heavy losses, were not able to 
rebuild with brick and stone, suspended the operation of the law " for the 
space of three years only, when it is to be in force, and all persons are 
required then carefully to attend unto the same." 5 At the expiration of 
that time, in December, 1683, the Court again attempted to legislate on the 
subject, and passed an order that " This Court, being sensible of the great 
ruins in Boston by fire at sundry times, and hazards still of the same, by 
reason of the joining and nearness of buildings, for the prevention of 

1 Mass. Col. Records, v. 139, 140. dustry and cost, many of them standing upon 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of t lie Col. of Alass. Bay, piles, close together on each side of the streets 
p. 349, note. I See Mr. By nuer's chapter. ED.] as in London, and furnished with many fair 

3 Mass. Col. Records, v. 240. Describing shops ; their materials are brick, stone, lime, 
Boston in 1665, the Royal Commissioners, or handsomely contrived, with three meeting-houses 
some person employed by them, wrote : " Their or churches, and a town-house burlt upon pillars, 
houses are generally wooden, their streets where the merchants may confer; in the cham- 
crooked, with little decency and no uniform- bers above they keep their monthly courts, 
ity." (Hutchinson, Original Papers, p. 421). Their streets are many and large, paved with 
Josselyn, who was here a short time before, pebble stones, and the south side adorned with 
probably drew on his imagination, or trusted gardens and orchards." (3 Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 
to an imperfect recollection, when he wrote : 319.) 

"The houses are for the most part raised on 4 Mass. Col. Records, v. 250, 251. 

the sea-banks and wharfed out with great in- 5 Ibid. pp. 266, 267. 



damage and loss thereby for the future, do order and enact, that henceforth 
no dwellinghouse, warehouse, shop, barn, stable, or any other building, shall 
be erected and set up in Boston except of stone or brick, and covered with 
slate or tile, on penalty of forfeiting one hundred pounds in money to the 
use of said town for every house built otherwise, unless by allowance and 
liberty obtained from this Court, from time to time." Some other provisions 
then followed, and the building law of 1679 was expressly repealed. 1 A 
few months later the law was amended by the enactment of the important 
provision that half of any parti-wall might be set on the adjoining estate, 
and that when it was built into, one half of the cost of the wall should be 
paid for by the person using it. 2 The subsequent legislation on this subject 
does not fall within the period covered by this chapter. 

Three or four years after the settlement of the town, in March, 1633-34, 
the Court ordered a market to be kept at Boston every Thursday. 3 It 
was not till November, 1639, that the first post-office was set up in Boston. 
The General Court at that time passed an order to give notice " that 
Richard Fairbanks's house, in Boston, is the place appointed for all letters 
which are brought from beyond the seas, or are to be sent thither, are to be 
brought unto ; and he is to take care that they be delivered or sent according 
to their directions ; and he is allowed for every such letter a penny, and 
must answer all miscarriages through his own neglect in this kind, pro- 
vided that no man shall be compelled to bring his letters thither, except he 
please." 4 It is not known how long Mr. Fairbanks held this office; but 
in June, 1677, the same difficulties which had led to his appointment 
compelled the merchants of Boston to petition for some further action of 
the General Court. From the statements then made it appeared that 
" many times letters are thrown upon the exchange, that who will may take 
them up ; " and the Court thereupon appointed Mr. John Hayward, the 
scrivener, as a " meet person to take in and convey letters according to 
their direction." 5 Three years later he was re-appointed to this office. 6 

The first act of incorporation affecting Boston was passed in October, 
1648, when " upon the petition of the shoemakers of Boston, and upon 
consideration of the complaints which have been made of the damage which 
the country sustains by occasion of bad ware made by some of that trade," 
the General Court granted an act of incorporation for three years to certain 
persons, " and the rest of the shoemakers inhabiting, and housekeepers in, 
the town of Boston, or the greater number of them (upon due notice 
given to the rest)," empowering them to choose "a master and two 
wardens, with four or six associates, a clerk, a sealer, a searcher, and a 
beadle, with such other officers as they shall find necessary." These 
officers were to be chosen annually and to be sworn before the governor 
or one of the magistrates ; and they were to have power to make orders 
for the government of the company and the regulation of the trade, which 

1 Mass. Col. Records, v. 426. * Mass. Col. Records, i. 281. 

2 Ibid. p. 432. 6 Ibid. v. 147, 148. 
8 Ibid. i. 112. 6 Ibid. p. 273. 


orders were not to be in force until approved by the County Court or the 
Court of Assistants. The company was also authorized to impose fines for 
any infractions of its orders, " provided always, that no unlawful combina- 
tion be made at any time, by the said company of shoemakers, for enhanc- 
ing the prices of shoes, boots, or wages, whereby either their own people 
or strangers may suffer," and provided also " that no shoemaker shall 
refuse to make shoes for any inhabitant, at reasonable rates, of their own 
leather, for the use of themselves and families only, if they be required 
thereunto." l 

At the same session of the General Court, " upon petition of the coopers 
inhabiting in Boston and Charlestown, and upon consideration of many 
complaints made of the great damage the country hath sustained by occa- 
sion of defective and insufficient casks," the coopers also were incorporated, 
with similar powers, " for the space of three years, and no longer, except this 
Court shall see cause to continue the same ; " and with a proviso that none 
of the orders of the company, " nor any alteration therein, shall be in force 
before they shall have been perused and allowed by the court of that 
county where they shall be made, or by the Court of Assistants." It was also 
provided " that no unlawful combination be made at any time by the said 
company of coopers for enhancing the prices of casks or wages, whereby 
either our own people or' strangers may suffer ; " and that " the priority of 
their grant shall not give them precedency of other companies that may 
hereafter be granted." 2 

A few years later, in June, 1652, the General Court granted an act 
of incorporation to " inhabitants of the Conduit Street in Boston," to pro- 
vide a supply of fresh water for their families, and especially for use in case 
of fire. The nature and extent of the powers which it was intended to 
confer on the corporation are involved in some obscurity ; but the corpo- 
rators and their associates were authorized to elect annually two of the 
proprietors to be masters or wardens of the water-works, with power to 
arrange for the payment of the annual rent of their land, to make all 
necessary repairs on the water-works, to assess the proper sums for these 
purposes, and to admit new members of the corporation. If any persons 
should be found guilty of corrupting, wasting, or spoiling the water, or 
water-works, or injuring the pipes, cisterns, or fountains, the warden for the 
time being might prosecute the offender ; and if any person should take 
water from the conduit without license, the warden might confiscate " such 
vessels from them as they shall bring to carry away such water with." The ' 
wardens could also allow poor persons to take water " for a time " without 
charge. 3 Under the authority of this act, or perhaps just before its passage, 
it seems that a reservoir was constructed near the corner of the streets now 
known as Union Street and North Street, and that it was supplied by pipes 

4 Mass. Col. Records, ii. 249, 250. 3 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. pp. 99, 

2 Ibid. pp. 250, 251. 100. 

VOL. I. 30. 


leading from wells or springs in the neighborhood. 1 It is not perhaps 
strange, that "water-works" on so simple a plan should have failed to 
answer any useful purpose, and that they are scarcely mentioned in the 
town records. 

In September, 1670, the town found it necessary to supplement the 
existing means for extinguishing fires by passing an order, which shows 
how simple and inadequate these means still remained. The order recites : 
" Whereas, it is found by experience that in case of fire breaking out in this 
town the welfare thereof is much endangered for want of a speedy supply 
of water, it is therefore ordered that after the first of March next, and so 
forward to the first of November in every year, every inhabitant in this town 
shall at all times during the said term have a pipe or a hogshead of water 
ready filled, with the head open, at or near the door of their dwelling-houses 
and warehouses, upon the penalty of five shillings for every defect." 2 From 
time to time persons were fined for having defective chimneys, and were 
required to have them put in order and swept; and in December, 1676, the 
colony council recommended to the town the appointment of certain per- 
sons who were named, or other persons instead of them, to see that the 
chimneys in the town were kept properly swept. The suggestion proved 
agreeable to the town, and the appointments were accordingly made. 3 

The colony grew so rapidly that in 1643 there were thirty towns within 
the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and the need of further organization was 
felt. Accordingly, in May of that year, the General Court divided the 
whole plantation into four shires or counties. Seven towns were associated 
with Boston under the designation of Suffolk County. These were Rox- 
bury, Dorchester, Dedham, Braintree, Weymouth, Hingham, and Nantas- 
ket. 4 The origin of the English counties is lost in the obscurity of Anglo- 
Saxon history; but their privileges and obligations were well understood, 
and for this reason, probably, there is in the order creating the Massachu- 
setts counties no enumeration of the powers which the towns thus united 
might exercise. Closely connected with the division of the colony into 
counties was the creation of a military organization ; and a few months 
afterward an elaborate plan was adopted by the Court for this purpose, on 
the ground that " as piety cannot be maintained without church ordinances 
and officers, nor justice without laws and magistracy, no more can our safety 
and peace be preserved without military orders and officers." 5 In the or- 
ders now adopted it was expressly declared that no war ought to be under- 
taken without the authority of the General Court; but as emergencies 
might arise requiring immediate action there was to be a council, of which 
the Governor should always be one, with authority to raise the whole force 
of the country, or any part thereof, and to make such disposition of the 

1 Shurtleff, Topographical and Historical De- H. Whitmore contributed to the ^fass. Hist. Soc. 

scription of Boston, pp. 401-403. Proc., February, 1873, a paper on the origin of 

a MS. Records of the Toion of Boston, ii. 54. the names of these and other towns in Massa- 

8 Ibid. pp. 100, tot. chusetts. ED.J 
* Mass. Col. Records, ii. 38. [Mr. William 6 Mass. Col. Records, ii. 42. 


soldiers thus raised as they might think best " for the necessary defence of 
the country." There was also to be a " sergeant major-general to lead and 
conduct their forces levied, and to execute all orders and directions of the 
council." In each shire or county there was to be a lieutenant with power 
to act independently when timely notice could not be given to the Governor 
and Council, and there was also to be " one sergeant-major to command, 
lead, and conduct the forces of that shire, being called together," and to act 
in the absence of the lieutenant. 1 Other regulations were adopted to secure 
the effective disciplining of the forces in each shire, and the defence of each 
shire by the local military officers. The idea of local self-government was 
becoming rapidly developed, though it was long before it was fully recog- 
nized and firmly established. 

A precedent for this action of the General Court in the establishment of 
counties and the distribution of the military powers, if any were necessary, 
may be found in the orders passed in March, 1635-36, providing for the 
holding of local courts at Ipswich, Salem, Cambridge, and Boston, for those 
towns and the towns in their immediate neighborhood. In these orders 
it was declared that the courts thus established " shall be kept by such 
magistrates as shell be dwelling in or near the said towns, and by such other 
persons of worth as shall from time to time be appointed by the Gen- 
eral Court, so as no court shall be kept without one magistrate at the least, 
and that none of the magistrates be excluded who can and will intend the 
same ; ytt the General Court shall appoint which of the magistrates shall 
specially belong to every of the said courts. Such persons as shall be joined 
as associates to the magistrates in the said court -shall be chosen by the 
General Court, out of a greater number of such as the several towns shall 
nominate to them, so as there may be in every of the said courts so many 
as (with the magistrates) may make five in all." 2 This limited right of local 
appointment for the associates curiously illustrates the tendency of colonial 
politics to enlarge the powers conferred by the charter, and to adapt it to 
the wants of a growing colony. 

There was no provision in the colony charter expressly authorizing the 
creation of any legislative body other than the Court of Assistants ; but 
there was nothing in it inconsistent with the establishment of a representa- 
tive body in which the freemen who could not be personally present in the 
General Court might express their will through regularly appointed dele- 
gates. With the rapid growth of the colony it soon became impracticable 
for all the freemen to meet together in the General Courts for which express 
provision was made in the charter, and the establishment of some system 
of representation became a necessity. So early as May, 1634, the General 
Court met the difficulty, and solved it, by ordering " that it shall be lawful 
for the freemen of every plantation to choose two or three of each town 
before every General Court, to confer of and prepare such public business 
as by them shall be thought fit to consider of at the next General Court, 

1 Afass. Col. Records, ii. 42. 2 Ibid. i. 169. 


and that such persons as shall be hereafter so deputed by the freemen of 
[the] several plantations, to deal in their behalf in the public affairs of the 
commonwealth, shall have the full power and voices of all the said free- 
men, derived to them for the making and establishing of laws, granting of 
lands, &c., and to deal in all other affairs of the commonwealth wherein the 
freemen have to do, the matter of election of magistrates and other officers 
only excepted, wherein every freeman is to give his own voice." 1 Various 
orders were passed subsequently as to the manner in which the dep- 
uties should be paid for their necessary expenses; and in March, 1638-39, 
" it was ordered that no town should send more than two deputies to 
the General Courts." 2 At length, nearly forty years afterward, the town of 
Boston instructed its deputies to have the number of deputies from the town 
augmented, as the number of freemen had much increased. 3 No immediate 
action appears to have been taken on the subject; but in March, 1 680-81, 
the Court granted the town liberty to send three deputies in future. 4 At 
first the magistrates and deputies sat together, the former claiming the right 
to negative the votes of the deputies; but in March, 1643-44, after a contro- 
versy which belongs to the history of the colony rather than to the history 
of the town, the Court passed the following preamble and order: " For- 
asmuch as, after long experience, we find divers inconveniences in the 
manner of our proceeding in Courts by magistrates and deputies sitting 
together, and accounting it wisdom to follow the laudable practice of other 
States who have laid groundworks for government and order in the issuing 
of business of greatest and highest consequence, it is therefore ordered, 
first, that the magistrates may sit and act business by themselves, by draw- 
ing up bills and orders which they shall see good in their wisdom, which 
having agreed upon, they may present them to the deputies to be con- 
sidered of, how "good and wholesome such orders are for the country, and 
accordingly to give their assent or dissent; the deputies in like manner 
sitting apart by themselves, and consulting about such orders and laws as 
they in their discretion and experience shall find meet for common good, 
which agreed upon by them, they may present to the magistrates, who, 
according to their wisdom, having seriously considered of them, may 
consent unto them or disallow them ; and when any orders have passed the 
approbation of both magistrates and deputies, then such orders to be 
engrossed, and in the last day of the Court to be read deliberately, and full 
assent to be given, provided, also, that all matters of judicature which this 
Court shall take cognizance of shall be issued in like manner." 5 These 
orders of May, 1634, and March, 1643-44, formed the basis on which, with 
only a single important modification, the system of town representation in 
Massachusetts rested down to our own time. 

Almost nothing is known about the places in which the General Court 

1 Mass. Col. Records, i. nS, 119. 4 Mass, Col. Records, v. 305. 

2 Ibid. p. 254. 5 Ibid. ii. 58, 59. 
* 8 MS. Records of the Town of Boston, ii. 105. 


held their sessions during the first twenty-five years after the settlement of 
the town. It is stated, indeed, by Johnson, that the first Court of Assistants, 
August 23, 1630, was held on board the " Arbella; " l but as his work was not 
published until 1654 the statement is of doubtful authority. In May, 1634, 
the Court was held in the meeting-house in Boston ; 2 and this probably 
continued to be its place of meeting, for according to Lechford who was 
here for about four years, and whose P/aiue Dealing ; or Newcs from New 
England was published in 1642 "the General and Great Quarter Courts 
are kept in the church meeting-house at Boston." 3 In at least one mem- 
orable instance, in May, 1637, the Court of Election was held in the open 
air. 4 But in 1658, when the first town-house was erected in Boston, the 
town was required to provide suitable accommodations for the courts as one 
of the conditions of receiving aid from the colonial treasury. At its session 
in May of that year the Court passed the following order: " In answer to 
the request of the selectmen of Boston, the Court judgeth it meet to allow 
unto Boston, for and toward the charges of their town-house, Boston's pro- 
portion of one single country rate for this year ensuing, provided that suffi- 
cient rooms in the said house shall be forever free for the keeping of all 
courts, and also that the place underneath shall be free for all inhabitants in 
this jurisdiction to make use of as a market forever, without paying of any 
toll or tribute whatever." 5 According to the contract with the builders 
it was to be " a very substantial and comely building," sixty-six feet in 
length, and thirty-six feet in breadth, set upon twenty-one pillars ten feet in 
height between the pedestal and capital. The building was to be a story 
and a half in height, with three gable ends on each side ; and the principal 
story was to be ten feet high. On the roof was to be a walk fourteen 
or fifteen feet wide, with two turrets and turned balusters and rails around 
the walk. The contract price was four hundred pounds, the town fur- 
nishing all the mason's work and materials, all the iron-work, lead, glass, 
and glazing. The cost was to be defrayed in part from a legacy of three 
hundred pounds left to the town by Captain Keayne, and in part from .a 
voluntary subscription. 6 It does not appear whether the town intended 
that any part of the cost should be raised by a direct tax; but the contrac- 

1 Wonder-working Providence, p. 37. country's account, and the rather in regard that 

2 Winthrop, Wnv England, \. 132. the town of Boston have long since covered the 

3 3 Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 84. east staircase of said house at their own cost 
J Hutchinson, Hist, of the Col. of Mass. Bay, and charges." Mass. Col. Kfcords, v. 501. 

p. 61, vote. 6 Papers relating to the Boston Town House 

6 A/ass. Col. Kecords, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 327. in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1858, pp. 337- 

In consideration ot the joint occupancy of the 341. | Keayne is famous for having left the 

town-house, the colony recognized the obligation most voluminous will known on our records. It 

to keep the building in repair, and in September, fills 158 pages' ; was executed Dec. 28, 1653, and 

1685, the following order was passed: "The proved May 2, 1656. 

Court, considering the necessity of covering the Cf. Savage, Win- 


west staircase of the town-house with lead, the throp's Hist, of N. \ 'Vj-' 

wooden covering, being deficient, lets in the rain, E. \. 378. Keayne 

which decays the main timber thereof, it is ord- lived opposite the old market-place (old State 
ered that it be done with all speed, and that the House lot), en the south corner of Washington 
Treasurer defray the charge thereof upon the and State streets. Shaw, Boston, p. 117. ED.| 


tors claimed a much larger sum in the final settlement, and in January, 
1660-61, the town voted to allow them six hundred and eighty pounds 
in full. 1 

In at least one instance the colony made a specific grant to Boston in aid 
of a purely local institution. At the session in October, 1660, the General 
Court, in answer to a petition of the town of Boston, granted to the town 
one thousand acres of land " for their furtherance and help to discharge the 
charge of a free school there." 2 On the other hand, the town was not back- 
ward in contributing to general colonial objects. In December, 1652, at a 
public town-meeting a committee was chosen to receive any sums of money 
which any persons might subscribe " toward the maintenance of the Presi- 
dent and Fellows or poor scholars of Harvard College." 3 In July, 1654, 
another committee was chosen " to collect the several sums subscribed for 
the use of the college by the selectmen." 4 In November, 1656, "a rate for 
town and country and college " was committed to the constables for collec- 
tion ; and in the following month it was voted to discharge the constables 
of this rate, the whole amount apparently having been collected. 6 But 
the relations of the town and the college will be treated at length in another 
chapter of this History; and these votes have been cited only to show that 
the town had helped to support the college even before she received aid for 
her free school. 

All through the colonial period Boston clung to the charter with an un- 
questioning devotion ; and it was no doubt with a smile of grim satisfaction 
that the town-clerk placed on record the unanimous decision of the town- 
meeting in January, 1683-84, against a surrender of the charter: - 

" At a meeting of the freemen of this town upon full warning, upon reading and 
publishing his Majesty's declaration, dated 26th of July, 1683, relating to the quo 
warranto issued out against the charter and privileges claimed by the Governor and 
Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, it being put to the vote whether 
the freemen were minded that the General Court should make a full submission and 
entire resignation of our charter and privileges therein granted to his Majesty's pleas- 
ure, as intimated in the said declaration now read, the question was resolved in the 
negative, ncmine contradicentc" e 

During all the anxious period when the charter was in danger, the town 
constantly instructed her deputies to the General Court to do nothing to 
abridge the liberties of the country, and to give their consent to no laws 
repugnant to the charter. 7 

In the period of misgovernment after the first charter was vacated, and 
before the second charter was granted, the hand of arbitrary power did not 

1 Second Report of the Record Commissioners, * Ibid. p. I2O. 

p. 158. |See further on this town-house in Mr. 5 Ibid. pp. 132, 133. 

Uynner's chapter in this volume. En.j 6 MS. RcforJs of the Toiun of Boston, ii. 155. 

1 Mas. 1 !. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 444. " |This struggle for the maintenance of the 

3 Second Retort of the Record Coiiimissioturs, charter is fully described in another chapter of 

p. 113. this volume. En.] 


spare the inhabitants of Boston ; and it is significant of the changed con- 
dition of things to read in the town records a formal confirmation, by the 
President and Council, of rates voted by the town for finishing the alms 
house and for maintaining the poor, and of an order made many years be- 
fore for regulating the manner in which gunpowder should be kept. 1 It is 
no matter for surprise, but it is one for deep satisfaction, that Boston was 
foremost in the resistance to Andros, and that the New England Revolution 
of 1689 was the result of a great popular uprising in Boston. With the loss 
of the colony charter one period in the history of Boston, as well as of 
Massachusetts, closed : with the grant of the province charter a new era 

In reviewing the details which have been brought together here to illus- 
trate the relations of the town to the colony down to the end of the colonial 
period, no one can fail to be impressed, above all else, by the slow and 
steady growth of the institutions with whose later developments we are 
familiar. The founders of the colony and of the town brought with them 
no elaborate plan of colonial or town government; and the institutions 
which they established here were the natural growth of the circumstances 
in which they were placed. It is needless now to discuss the question 
whether the colony charter merely created a trading corporation to reside 
in England and transact all its business there, or whether it conferred on the 
company the power necessary to establish a colonial government here and 
to make all necessary laws under it not repugnant to the laws of England. 
The deliberation with which the transfer of the charter to New England was 
ordered shows that Winthrop and his associates accepted the latter view ; 
and they and their successors acted on it until the charter was vacated. 
The charter was, it is true, only a clumsy and ill-contrived foundation on 
which to erect such a superstructure as was built up here in half a century; 
but as each necessity arose for the exercise of new powers the magistrates 
and the people deduced the requisite authority from the acknowledged pro- 
visions of the charter. This development went forward in two directions, 
one toward local self-government in the management of town affairs, and the 
other toward the establishment of a strong central authority which recog- 
nized no appeal to the mother country. Thus, by slow degrees, the colony 

"A land of settled government, 
A land of just and old renown, 
Where Freedom broadens slowly down 
From precedent to precedent." 

In this gradual development of free institutions during the colonial 
period Boston had a conspicuous part. As the most important town in the 
colony, in respect both to wealth and population, she could not fail to exert 
a large influence in colonial politics. There are no records now extant to 

1 MS. Records of the Town of Boston, ii. 176, 177. Other orders were confirmed at the same 


show when the first board of selectmen was established in Boston ; but such 
a body was in existence in September, 1634, when the town records begin, 
and Winthrop, who had been Governor in the preceding year and was now 
one of the Assistants, was a member. 1 This fact shows how close were the 
political relations of the colony and the town. It was only a single step 
from the office of governor to that of selectman. Not a few of the ques- 
tions which most largely influenced the course of colonial politics were pri- 
marily Boston questions. The disarmament of the followers of Wheelright, 
in 1637, was the result of the controversy in the Boston church over the 
theological speculations of Mrs. Hutchinson. The separation of the magis- 
trates and deputies into two bodies, in 1643-44, was finally brought about 
by the strong feeling which had been aroused by a series of lawsuits in 
Boston over a stray pig. 2 Wilson and Cotton were acknowledged forces in 
shaping the colonial polity ; at a later period the Mathers showed that the 
Boston ministers had lost none of their interest in politics ; and, it may be 
added, the first governor under the province charter owed his appointment 
to the good offices of Increase Mather, the minister of a Boston church. 

So close, indeed, were the relations of the colony and the town, and so 
nearly identical were their interests during the earlier part of the colonial 
period, that it is not easy to write the history of Boston without writing also 
the history of Massachusetts. But as the number of towns multiplied, and 
the aggregate population and wealth increased and became more widely 
distributed, the limits of the central power and of the local power were more 
exactly defined. The General Court confined itself more and more to 
matters of general importance; and the town was left more and more to 
regulate her own affairs. The relations of the town and the colony changed 
somewhat in character. There was little of direct interference on either 
side ; but neither the colony nor the province ever relinquished the authority 
which might be claimed under the respective charters, and the town never 
ceased to take the liveliest interest in all matters which concerned the other 
towns as well as herself. A reciprocal influence took the place of the more 
direct and positive relations which had existed at first; and from the time 
when the extent of the powers which the town might rightfully exercise was 
defined with some approach to accuracy, the separate history of the town 
and of the colony or province may be traced along parallel lines, with little 
fear of confusion of statement. 

1 [Cf. Snow's Boston, p. 56, and the facsimile Winthrop's Life of John Winthrop, 1630-49, 
of the page in another chapter. ED.] ch. xviii , and in his chapter in this volume. 

' l [See the curious story recounted in R. C. En.) 




Vice-President of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

IT seems to have been allotted to the first colonists in the settlement 
of Boston to establish the precedent which has ever since, in the suc- 
cessive advances of our race over the continent, been adopted as an example, 
or regarded as certified by experience, that civilized men and barbarians 
cannot live peacefully as neighbors. Whether this issue was prejudiced at 
the start by ill advice or wrong action, and whether a different principle or 
method in the treatment of the Indians, by those whose ruthless dealing 
with them justified itself by the assumed necessity of their extinction or 
removal from proximity to a white settlement, would have in any way 
modified the subsequent relations between the aboriginal and the intruding 
races on this continent, it might be profitless now to inquire. Certain it 
is that two facts of a most decisive significance are certified to us by full 
historical testimony of the past, and by the course of things which has 
been followed up to this current year of time. The first is, that when the 
magistrates and fighting men of Boston came into actual warfare with Indian 
tribes, even at a considerable distance from their own original plantations, 
they acted as if under the stress of a necessity to secure a complete riddance 
of their red foes, putting as many of them as possible to death, and reduc- 
ing the remnant to abject and humiliating slavery, a few being scattered 
among the settlements, while the greater number were transported to be 
sold in foreign plantations. The second fact is, that as the white men, 
steadily advancing their borders across the vast expanses of continent to- 
wards the further ocean, over each mountain range and valley, have come 
in contact with survivors of tribes previously driven to refuges in the West, 
or with new hordes of wild roamers, the precedent has been invariably fol- 
lowed. There has been no sharing of the heritage with the original oc- 
cupants ; they have had to move out and to move on. With consummate 
assurance the abler race has spoken its command to the savage in the tone 
and language of the old Prophet, " The place is too strait for me ; give 
room that I may dwell." 

This assurance of the right, as well as of the ability, of the civilized man 
to dispossess the red man of his territory has rested itself, from the time 
VOL. i. 31. 


of the first foreign discovery of this continent down to recent years, upon 
two grounds of justification, quite different in their character, but each of 
them, under the circumstances of the times and the views of those who 
adopted it, believed to be of axiomatic truth. One of these was simply a 
matter of opinion, firmly and devoutly held, indeed, but still only a way of 
thinking which took for granted its own rightfulness. The other ground of 
the white man's justification that which came in season to serve when the 
former might be questioned or discredited, and which abundantly supplied 
its place may be regarded as certifying itself by actual and decisive experi- 
ment in continued conflict. 

Amid all the sharp and bitter variances between the creeds of the Roman- 
ist and the Puritan, there was one point of pious belief held in common 
between the sanguinary Spanish invaders of the more tropical realms of this 
continent and the stern Protestant heretics who planted their colonies on 
the rough borders of the Bay of Massachusetts. Equally, and, so to speak, 
honestly, were they assured that as Christians they had by the law of Nature 
and of " Grace " dominant rights over heathen, not only to the soil but to 
everything beside, including even existence. The Spaniard said to the wild 
native, " Be converted or die ; " without, however, allowing time or mercy 
for the saving process. The Puritan avowed it to be his main intent to con- 
vert the savage, but was too dilatory or too inefficient in the attempt for its 
success. But from the moment when the Puritan had experience of Indian 
warfare, the savage became to him rather a heathen to be put to the slaugh- 
ter than a subject of salvation by the method of the Gospel. Modern 
readers of our early local literature sometimes find it difficult to relieve the 
writers of it from the imputation of the grossest bigotry and hypocrisy, 
when, without misgiving, regret, or one breathing of tender human yearning 
for their wretched victims, they speak of themselves as merely fulfilling the 
will and purpose of heaven against heathen outcasts, children of the Devil. 
But we cannot question the thorough sincerity of the belief which found 
expression in these dismal and to us often revolting declarations. It was 
of the very fibre and texture, of the very vigor and essence of the faith of 
the Puritan exiles, that, in coming to occupy these wild realms where the 
imbruted savages roamed, they were fortified by the same Divine rights and 
held to the same solemn obligations as were the chosen people of old, of 
whom they read so trustfully in their Bibles. It was one of the profoundest 
and most vital sources of their courage, heroism, and constancy in their 
enterprise, their refuge and solace in all their straits and hazards, that God 
was leading them and using them for his own purposes to reclaim a blasted 
region of the earth and to set up his kingdom there. They, too, were to dis- 
possess and drive out the heathen, and to put them to the sword, to form no 
truce with them, and to exterminate even their offspring. When that stanch 
old Puritan captain, John Mason, had burned up some seven hundred of 
the Pequots in their own fort and wigwams, and the wretched victims were 
writhing impaled upon their own palisades, he wrote of the scene, " Thus 


was God seen in the Mount, crushing his proud enemies." The enemies 
of the Puritans were the enemies of God. 

But even while the Puritan was finding a full justification of his exter- 
minating work against the Indians as doomed and uncovenanted heathen, 
another conviction grew strong in his mind, which has ever since, and 
never more effectually than to-day, furnished to the civilized man a justi- 
fication for the same course against the savage tribes as his border set- 
tlements advance towards them. The different mode of life, and the dif- 
ferent uses which the land and the water-courses of the earth are made to 
serve for the white and the red man, make it impracticable and indeed im- 
possible for them to live even within miles of intervening space in the same 
territory. The savage needs that Natifre should be and should forever remain 
in its wild, primeval condition. The native forests must stand in their dark 
and tangled luxuriance, sheltering the game and bearing fruit and berry. 
They must be unopened by highways; coursed only by leafy and mossy by- 
paths. The winds and breezes must not be tainted by the effluvia of hu- 
manity ; they must be silent, except only from their own murmurs or the 
gusts of storms. The waters must be left to flow freely, that the fish may 
visit them for spawning. The dam or mill which obstructs their course, and 
defiles or clogs them with rubbish or saw-dust, at once destroys their value 
to the savage. But the white man's first necessity is a clearing. His axe 
breaks the solitude. The wild creatures in the forest are to him not only 
game for his partial subsistence, but vermin destructive of his flocks and 
poultry. The white man never by preference would live wholly on the food 
of the woods. The meat of the ox, the sheep, and the swine is far more 
congenial to his palate and physical system than that of the native wilder- 
ness. He must fence and plant grounds, raise cereal crops, textile fibres 
and domesticated animals, and open highways over his scattered settlements. 
He must put the watercourses to use, must dam the streams, and raise the 
clatter of the mill. The white man, in the regions where the heats of sum- 
mer and the frosts and snows of winter divide the year, must be thosghtful 
and provident. He must fill his barn and cellar, and attach himself per- 
manently to one spot. As now, in our most secure and crowded rural com- 
munities, a strolling tramp is an object of suspicion and fear, so on all early 
and recent border settlements the known proximity of few or many vagrant 
savages, prowling in the shadows of the forest and bent on ventures for 
stealing the live-stock, or firing the corn-rick, or frightening the inmates of 
the cabin, was an experience to which the white man never could reconcile 
himself. So the condition was very soon certified, and has never since been 
qualified, that if the white man resolves to occupy any region of territory, 
the red man, if in transient possession, must move wide-away. From this 
anticipation of what proved to be the experience of the first colonists, we 
start for the beginning of their story. 

We are naturally prompted to ask, with what expectations and intentions 
as regards their relations with the natives whom they might find here the 


first colonists to the Bay prepared to meet them? On this matter there is to 
be noted some confusion of statement. Over and over again, in very positive 
and earnest terms, the purpose is avowed, as indeed the prompting and con- 
secrating aim of the enterprise in the Colony, to civilize and Christianize the 
barbarous heathen inhabiting here. But, again, we meet with frequent ref- 
erences to the fact that before the planters left England they had learned 
that the natives in these parts had been almost exterminated by some 
desolating plague or disease, so that they were not likely to meet with any 
embarrassment from such a remnant of them as they might encounter. 

Governor Cradock, in his letter to Endicott, March, 1629, bids him to 
" be not unmindful of the main end of our Plantation, by endeavoring to 
bring the Indians to the knowledge of'the Gospel," and to keep a watchful 
eye over our own people so that they may be just and courteous to the In- 
dians, winning their love and respect and getting some of their children to 
be trained in learning and religion. The Charter emphatically recognizes 
this obligation towards the natives ; and those who availed themselves of the 
privileges which it bestowed professed with seeming sincerity, and with re- 
iteration, that they expected to be missionaries of the Christian religion, and 
heralds of civilization to the heathen. 

It is observable also, that, up to the early period of fierce hostilities 
between the Massachusetts colonists and the natives, the former, when 
brought under question in England for their proceedings here, were gen- 
erally glad to lay the utmost stress possible upon their missionary errand 
and purposes. None the less, however, is it true that the colonists in this 
immediate neighborhood expected to find but very few, and those a feeble 
remnant, in possession here, and were persuaded that the fewer of them 
there were, the .better for both parties. In the lack of particular and authen- 
tic information of the condition of the natives before the settlement at Ply- 
mouth and that at Salem, we have very imperfect knowledge about the des- 
olating plague which is said to have well nigh extirpated the natives just 
previously. Increase Mather distinguishes between a plague in Plymouth 
Colony and the small-pox in this region. Bradford says that the Pilgrims, 
before leaving Leyden, expected to find but a scanty number of natives on 
their arrival. The patriarch White, in the Planter s Plea, says : " The land 
affords void ground " for more people than England can spare, " on account 
of a desolation from a three years' plague, twelve or sixteen years past, which 
sw.ept away most of the inhabitants all along the sea-coast, and in some 
places utterly consumed man, woman, and child, so that there is no person 
left to lay claim to the soyle which they possessed." In other places, 
twenty or thirty miles up into the land, he says, not one in a hundred is left. 
Those of them who are left, he promises, we will teach providence and 
industry, which in their wastefulness and idleness they much need. Also, 
we shall defend them from the " Tarantines " savages, who have been wont 
to destroy and desolate them, " and have wonderfully weakened and kept 
them low in times past." But yet this stanch friend of the colonists, re- 


minding himself of the stress which he had previously laid upon their pur- 
pose to convert the Indians, feels bound to meet the supposed objection 
as to how this is to be done, if they have been so nearly killed off. He 
therefore pleads that it is easier to begin the work with a few, and then to 
spread it to places better peopled. Besides, he suggests, there are enough 
of them near by in the Narragansett country. He grants that no progress 
had been made in converting the Indians in Virginia ; and that in New Ply- 
mouth, in ten years, not one of them had been converted. He accounts 
this to the difficulty presented by the Indian language, in which, he naively 
suggests, the whites easily acquire enough facility for purposes of trade 
and for temporal matters, but not for making themselves understood about 
" things spiritual." Mr. Higginson, after his arrival in Salem, wrote in 1629, 
" The Indians are not able to make use of the one fourth part of the land ; 
neither have they any settled places, as towns, to dwell in, nor any grounds, 
as they challenge for their own possession, but change their habitation from 
place to place." The good minister made these somewhat fallacious state- 
ments in perfectly good faith, seeming not to have recognized the peculiar- 
ities in the habits of the savages just noted, as to their not confining themselves 
to any fixed residences, and their need of vast spaces of territory for their 
wild roaming life. 

We have no means of any trustworthy information as to the extent and 
effects inland from the coast border of the desolation made by the pestilence 
just previous to the coming of the colonists. The small-pox renewed its rav- 
ages in the immediate neighborhood very soon after their arrival. It is on 
record that many of the whites pitifully befriended the red sufferers in their 
bewilderment under loathsome disease when their own kith and kin deserted 
them in dismay. It is said that in some spots the ground was strewn with un- 
buried human bones. The most careful computation and inference from facts 
that afterwards came to the knowledge of the whites put the estimate of the 
number of the savages then within the present bounds of New England, where 
now are more than four millions of population, at about thirty thousand. 
This estimate is now believed to be an excessive one. 1 

1 [The principal contemporary authorities on ton, New English Canaan ; Lechford, Plaint 

the condition of the New England Indians at Dealing, reprinted in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., iii., and 

the time of the settlement are as follows : Smith, recently edited by Dr. Trumbull ; a tract, New 

Desc. of New England and Generall Historie ; England' 1 s First Fruits, 1643, reprinted in Mass. 

Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, edited by C. Hist. Coll., i., and by Sabin, New York, 1865 

Deane ; Mourt, Relation, &c., recently edited by (and the series of tracts on the conversion of 

Dr. II. M. Dexter; Winslow, Good Newe s, re- the Indians referred to in a later note); the 

printed in the appendix of the Congregational " Briefe Observations of the Customes," ap- 

Board's edition of Morton's Memorial; the AV- pended to Roger Williams's Key, reprinted in 

ladon, 1622, by the President and Council of the K. I. Hist. Coll., 1827, and by the Narra- 

New England ; Gorges, Briefe Narration ; Win- gansett Club, 1866. Palfrey says " the only au- 

throp, New England ; Higginson, New England thentic portrait of an historical Indian " is one 

Plantation ; Dudley, Letter to the Countess of painted for Governor Winthrop, of Connecticut, 

Lincoln, given in Young's Chron. of Mass., &c. ; of Ninigret, a Niantic sachem, which has been 

Johnson, Wonder-working Providence, reprinted engraved in Drake's Boston and elsewhere. A 

in 2 Mass. Hist. Coll., ii., and recently edited by story, ascribed to one of the Mathers, that three 

Poole; Wood, New England's Prospect; Mor- hundred skulls, supposed to be Indian, had been 



Under this somewhat hazy and confused state of mind as to the numbers, 

disposition, and probable attitude of the Indians towards them, with the 

'*~ avowed intent of treating them 

kindly and of civilizing and 

/L /tL A~I ~ *~* * \*-*- Christianizing them, while still 

L~ k. ft^*~> ~.~-*** / with the hope that there were 

t., ^ but few of them, the colonists 

<tr *~ x - planted themselves on this 

; soil, and prepared, as the 

/. __ . stronger party, for the encoun- 

/tL A 

~ k. ft 

..4. A 

-.^ tL* 

JL^JLJ* ^ L 

3. .-. 

^ JL 

i ~ JL 




,4 ,~ 

JL. ~. 

side, we have to inform our- 
selves, as satisfactorily as our 

means wil1 admit - about the 





*Lk ~ 



u hi*,' 

A i^. 




ZL A * 



ideas and feelings of the In- 
dians towards the white com- 
ers on their first acquaintance. 
We hav e on this point (on 
this, as on every other occa- 
sion when it comes before us) 
to remind ourselves that the 
Indians have no historian of 
their own race, no one to state 
their cause, to stand for their 
side, or to represent their view 
on a single controversy or 
struggle between them and 

the whites - Tt is P leasant , 

however, to recognize the fact 
that the Indians from the first 
have never lacked friends, 
pleaders, or champions among 

the race which has spoiled them. By such men, just, candid, and prompted 
by considerate and merciful sentiments, facts have been left on record for 
us, and avowals and admissions of oppressive dealings by the whites have 
been made, from which we are able to gather as fair a statement of the 
Indian side in every quarrel and conflict as might have been looked for 
from the pen of an Indian advocate and historian. Our own historians, 
indeed, have not in all cases so guarded and qualified their relations of 

JL L~ 



dug up on Cotton (Pemberton) Hill, has been 
taken to show that the peninsula was at one time 
well populated ; but few or no evidences of that 
kind have been disclosed in the general excava- 
tion of the land which has from time to time 
been made all over the territory of original Bos- 
ton. ED.] 

1 [This, one of the most fervent appeals for 
the Indian, is taken from the original manu- 
script of the centennial ode delivered by Charles 
Sprague at the celebration in 1830; and for the 
privilege of making the fac-simile we are in- 
debted to the courtesy of the son of the poet, 
Charles J. Sprague, Esq., of Boston. ED.] 


the causes and the conduct of the English wars with the natives as to 
conceal from us the evidence that the civilized man was generally the 
aggressor, and that though he expressed horror and disgust at the bar- 
barous and revolting atrocities of savage warfare, his own skill and cruelty 
in wreaking vengeance hardly vindicated his milder humanity. 

The testimony on record in every case is complete, and without exception, 
to two facts, the significance of which, as setting forth the relations between 
the two races on this continent, can hardly be exaggerated. First, it is in evi- 
dence from the writings of all the voyagers, explorers, and colonists coming 
hither from Europe, beginning with those of the Spanish discoverers, that 
at every point along our whole coast, and on the shore of every inhab- 
ited island, the new-comers met a kindly reception from the natives. The 
sea-worn, feeble, and hungry adventurers, weakened by confinement and 
illness, craving fresh water, meat, and green vegetables, were made free 
partakers of the rude hospitality of the red man. In many instances, well 
authenticated, they would have perished from starvation without such succor. 
Second, it is also in evidence that in every case, with very rare exceptions, 
the kindness and hospitality of the savages were ill requited. Oppressive or 
cruel treatment was the base return. Nor do the exceptions which are to be 
allowed for present themselves in the journals of the early visits made to the 
New England coasts by English adventurers. On the contrary, the wrong 
was committed here by them with all its aggravations. Natives enticed on 
board English fishing or trading vessels here were in three instances kid- 
napped, carried off, and sold into slavery. This was the method of the 
introduction of the white man to the red man. 

There are frequent and positive affirmations scattered over the writings 
of the first colonists of Massachusetts, that in no single instance did they 
assume the possession or occupancy of any parcel of land without the free 
consent and the fair compensation of the natives. The claim thus asserted, 
as if for the quieting of conscience, occasionally has the tone of a boast, as 
if indicating a supererogatory merit. At any rate the new-comers do not 
appear to have felt any reproaches at having displaced the original occu- 
pants. Among the grievances which the magistrates had against Roger 
Williams, in the first issue of contention opened by him, was his disputing 
the right of the English monarch to grant a patent to lands here without 
a recognition of the prior claims of the natives. It is observable, also, that, 
when under the so-called usurpation of Andros and the overthrow of the 
colony charter all the titles to land held by it were put in peril, the magis- 
trates of Boston made haste to secure a confirmation of the deed of the 
peninsula from the grandson of the old Sachem. 

If we examine closely the matter and contents of the contracts by which 
these purchases of land from the Indians were secured, and the consideration 
paid for them, we must keep in view the relations of the respective parties, 
the value of wild land to each of them, and the uses to which it had been 
and was to be put. It is evident that the whites regarded the territorial 


rights of the Indians, in their mode of occupancy for the time being of any 
particular region, as at best but vague and slender, while the way in which 
they scoured over it without in any way improving it, except by an oc- 
casional cornfield, did not insure ownership according to any test recog- 
nized by the law of nations. Our romantic notions of the aborigines assign 
to them in their tribes the long possession for generations of ancestral hunt- 
ing-grounds and burial-places. Well-certified facts that have been accumu- 
lating from all our knowledge of the relations of the Indian tribes on this 
continent before and since the coming hither of Europeans assure us that 
there is very much of mere fancy in those notions. In very rare cases, if, 
indeed, in any, except as regards the Five Nations or Iroquois, of central 
New York, who had themselves farther back been intruders and conquerors, 
displacing previous occupants, is there evidence of any long and quiet 
tenure of the same regions by the same tribe of savages. There was among 
them an endless and hardly intermittent internecine warfare. The tribes 
were constantly displacing each other. At the time of the colonization of 
New England, the Indians on its soil had been and were at feud ; some of 
them had conquered, subjugated, and brought under tribute their weaker 
neighbors ; and of once powerful tribes there remained but feeble remnants. 
As the whites came to the knowledge of these facts, they of course natu- 
rally drew the inference that any particular clan or tribe who happened to 
be here or there were transient roamers rather than old-time inheritors. 
In 1633 the Court ordered " that the Indians had a just right to such lands 
as they possessed and improved by subduing the same. Gen. i. 28, ix. i." 
The condition demanded was actual occupation by tillage. The accepted 
rule was vacuum domicilium cedit occupanti. Plymouth devoted several 
necks of land to the Indians, and pronounced them inalienable. 

The whites regarded land strictly for its uses, and in a wilderness these 
were substitutes for title-deeds. They recognized the right of the old 
Patriarch, returning with his family from a sojourn in Egypt during a fam- 
ine, to repossess himself of Canaan and to drive out the heathen, because 
of a title to it assured by the three ancient tokens of ownership in the altar 
of Bethel, the well of Jacob, and the tomb at Macphelah. The Indians 
raised and left no such token, no land-mark, structure, or betterment. Oc- 
cupancy, improvements, and an added value to field and stream were the 
white man's tests of rightful tenure. They saw no evidences of these in the 
vast forests and reedy meadows where the Indians lurked. The Indians 
simply wasted everything within their reach. They skimmed what was on 
the earth's surface. They required enormous spaces of wilderness for their 
mode of existence, depths in which the game for their subsistence, and 
the creatures and the food on which that game might subsist, roamed free 
for natural propagation. 

Under these circumstances, while we smile as in ridicule or contempt at 
the trifling compensation paid to the Indians in a purchase covenant for 
their lands, we must remember that the standard of values was quite unlike 


our modern estimates. The deeds which are preserved, and the transactions 
on record from the earliest days, tell us of thousands and tens of thousands 
of acres being transferred for the consideration of a few utensils ; tools, gew- 
gaws, yards of cloth, blankets, or coats. But an implement of iron or" steel, 
a pot, kettle, spade, axe, or hatchet, was to an Indian the representative of 
an untold value. It extended and intensified his own natural resources, as 
steam and labor-saving machines reinforce the abilities of civilized man. 
Probably, too, the whites, in many cases, regarded the title-deeds of lands 
thus transferred to them as of very dubious authenticity and validity. It 
was really questionable if the chief or sachem of a tribe had such a vested 
right in any particular portion of territory as to have authority, on the con- 
sideration of a few perishable articles, to alienate it for all time from his 
temporary subjects and their posterity. If the Indians really owned it in 
any way equivalent to our own tenure of possession, it is evident that, if not 
a permanent annuity of perpetual benefit with a share to all, at least some 
better mode of compensation than that of a trifling gift so soon to perish in 
the using should have balanced the transfer. 

It soon appeared, however, in many cases, that the Indians supposed that 
these deeds of theirs to the whites merely conferred upon the latter a right 
of joint occupancy with themselves. They seem to have had no idea that 
they had shut themselves out for all time from the liberty of roaming over 
their lands. King Philip, though he had been lavishly free in his gifts of 
large areas of land to the men of Plymouth, soon came to make bitter com- 
plaints against the white man's clearings and fences, as disabling the red 
man from using the regions in common. 

There is no early contemporary notice of any claim set up by Indians on 
the score of their territorial rights on the peninsula of Boston, nor of any 
negotiations for a purchase or payment by the whites. It was only after 
more than a half century had elapsed since its settlement, when, in 1684, 
such claim was asserted and satisfied, that we learn that it had been ad- 
vanced some time previously. Finding the spot desolate, except as Mr. 
Blackstone had a lonely residence here, the whites inferred that its former 
occupants had perished by the plague, or had deserted it, so that they them- 
selves were free to take possession. Nor do we know of the occasion which 
prompted the demand for remuneration when it was subsequently made. 
There is in the Suffolk Registry a copy of an Indian deed of Boston, record- 
ed in 1708. It appears that at a town-meeting on June 18, 1685, a citizen 
of Boston, who was joined by some associates, was charged with the office 
of purchasing any claim, " legal or pretended," which the Indians might 
advance to " Deare Island, the Necke of Boston, or any parte thereof." 
The Indian chief in the negotiation was Wampatuck, by the English called 
Charles Josias, grandson of Chickataubut, who, the deed recites, " upon 
the first coming of the English, for encouragement thereof, did grant, sell, 
alienate, and confirm unto them and their assigns forever all that Neck of 
land, in order to their settling and building a Town there, now known by the 

VOL i. 32. 


name of Boston, as it is environed by the Sea, and by the line of Roxbury, 
and the island called Deer Island, about two leagues easterly from Boston, 
&c., which have been quietly possessed by the said English for the space 
of abbut five-and-fifty years last past." This deed on the consideration 
of " a valuable sum of money," the amount not being stated was signed by 
the marks of the chief and some of his Indian " counsellors," witnessed 
and acknowledged before magistrates. 1 It is singular that neither the Court 
Records, Winthrop, nor any other writer at the time make any reference to 
the earlier transaction with Chickataubut, of whom, however, Winthrop has 
frequent mention during the three years in which he lived after the arrival 
of the English. Intimations have been dropped that this deferred record of 
a bargain with the Indians for the absolute ownership of the peninsula was 
shrewdly contrived by the astute authorities of the town, as they were 
trembling over the royal challenging of their Colony Charter, the fall of 
which might render worthless all grants of parcels of territory that depended 
upon legislation under it. Chickataubut resided at Neponset. As there is 
no evidence that he ever bestowed the land on the English by formal trans- 
fer, so it is certain that he never made objection to its occupancy by them, 
and that he never molested them. On the contrary, he seemed to welcome 
their presence, and put himself under their patronage. Such is the tenure 
of the white man's home on this ancient soil. 

There was never any serious collision on the spot between the natives 
and the occupants of Boston and its immediate neighborhood. The whites 
had to seek and destroy their enemies in places distant from these scenes 
when hostilities raged between them. There were occasional alarms in the 
early years, and measures of protection like a night-watch, and orders re- 
quiring the colonists to have their arms in readiness showed that the people 
were at times anxious and always on their guard. Very soon, however, the 
whites came to understand the relations between themselves and the rem- 
nant of the natives scattered in the neighborhood, and felt that they were 
reasonably secure from harm. The apprehension was rather from the mis- 
chief that might be done by strolling and pilfering individuals or small 
parties in the night or in the woods, the firing of scattered dwellings, or the 
murder of a traveller, than from any assault in force. Before Winthrop's 
party had occupied the peninsula, it had been visited, and the immediate 
surroundings by land and water had been explored, by a boat-load of men 
from Plymouth. 2 There was not a single Indian found at the time on this 

1 [This original deed is now in the possession v. 516, that, May 20, 1686, a committee (Samuel 
of General Charles G. Loring of Boston, and by Nowell, John Saffin, Timothy Prout) was ap- 
his permission is here given in heliotype, much pointed to receive from Rawson, the secretary, 
reduced. It is printed verbatim in the Mass, all such papers as referred to the negotiations 
Hist. Soc. Proc., March, 1879, having been less to preserve the charter and to the Indian titles 
accurately printed before by Snow in his Hist, of the land, and to preserve them, the "Mas- 
of Boston. Cf. Drake's Boston, p. 456. Mr. sachusetts books and papers " being about this 
Charles Deane has examined the question of the time transferred to the custody of Andros and 
comparative validity of the Indian and patent his secretaries. Snoall Papers, \. 168. ED.] 
titles to land, in the Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., Feb- * [This visit is recounted in Mr. Adams's 
ruary, 1873. ^ appears by the Mass. Records, chapter of the present volume. ED.] 







peninsula. Some deserted wigwams were seen in various places. Weak 
and sparse groups of natives were met, or traces of their lingering presence 
were observed, up the banks of the Mystic and the Charles. The first sight 
of white men seemed always to alarm an Indian, and he was inclined to run 
away and hide himself. But the natives were generally reassured by a sign 
of amity. We read of some friendly manifestations, such as the exchange 
of a bass for an English biscuit, and of communications in answer to ques- 
tions so far as the parties could make themselves understood. Occasionally 
some native would appear wearing some article of European apparel, or 
having a foreign implement or tool, showing that the random intercourse 
of previous years, between foreign adventurers and fishermen, had already 
heralded the time for deliberate colonization. The people of Boston were 
soon well assured of the security of their own position. The easily-guarded 
peninsula hanging by the slender stem of a narrow neck of land to Roxbury, 
with tide-waters and flats nearly surrounding it, was safe against the artifices 
of Indian warfare. When settlements were made in the interior, the trees 
which were felled for a clearing were used for a stockade, as, for instance, 
the present College Yard and Common at Cambridge were originally en- 
closed and fortified by palisades, the trees being driven closely into the 
ground, and their tops united by birch withes. Within this enclosure the 
people, when alarmed, took refuge, and the cattle, which browsed outside by 
day, WCFC driven at night. 1 

Some months elapsed after the settlement before the whites had any 
intercourse with others of the natives than those who harbored north of 
Charles River. At the end of March, 1631, Winthrop mentions that 
" Chicatabot came from Neponset on the south, with his sannops and 
squaws," and presented him with a hogshead of Indian corn. The Gover- 
nor gave the party a dinner, with a cup of sack and beer, and to the men 
some tobacco. Three of the party remained over night. " Chickatabot 
being in English clothes, the Governour set him at his own table, where he 
behaved himself as soberly as an Englishman. The next day, after dinner, 
he returned home, the Governour giving him cheese and pease, and a mug 
and some other small things." The sachem repeated his visit in less than 
a month, wishing to trade with the Governor for an English suit. But 
Winthrop, reminding him that it was not seemly " for sagamores to truck," 
gave orders to his tailor, and had the chief " put into a very good new suit 
from head to foot." Food being put upon the table, the chief refused to 
eat till the Governor had said grace ; and after meat he was desired by the 
chief to return thanks. Winthrop received, as a return present, " two large 
skins of coat beaver." The Governor and the Court evidently tried to 
maintain relations of amity and equity with the natives near them. If a 
white man wronged an Indian he was duly punished, and required to make 
restitution. If the Indian was the trespasser, he in his turn suffered; and if 
chastisement was the penalty decreed, another Indian was made to inflict it. 

1 [Cf. Paige's Cambridge. ED.] 


And here, with whatever of relief the fact may afford us in a review of 
the fierce conflict with the natives at a distance in which soldiers sent from 
Boston had a full share, it is to be frankly stated that the feuds and quarrels 
of contending Indian tribes furnished the occasion of the first, and one of 
the most ruthless, of our wars with the natives. Only because Indians 
were set against Indians, giving opportunity to the whites to find most 
effective allies in their forest warfare, could the early colonists from Spain, 
France, or England have been so uniformly the conquerors. It may 
safely be affirmed that if the natives of this continent had been at peace 
among themselves, and had offered a united resistance to the first feeble 
bands of European intruders, its occupation would have been long deferred. 

The region extending from the bounds of Rhode Island to the banks of 
the Hudson was at the time of the colonization held in strips of territory 
mainly by three tribes of the natives, who had long had feuds among 
themselves and with other tribes. They were the Narragansetts, the 
Mohegans, and the Pequots. The Mohegans were then tributaries of the 
Pequots, and were restive under subjection to their fierce and warlike 
conquerors, who were estimated to number at the time a thousand fighting 
men. Fair and fertile meadows, ponds, fresh and salt streams, and virgin 
forests made the region rich and attractive. To the mind and eye of the 
Puritan it would present itself as a portion of the heritage which God had 
given to his children, especially to his elect, which in this fulness of time 
was no longer to be scoured over by scant hordes of heathen barbarians, 
but to be turned to the uses of a thriftful civilization under the Gospel. 
The way in which this end was to be brought about would depend entirely 
upon the relation and attitude in which the savages should put themselves 
to the whites ; whether a friendly and docile one, which would make them 
partners in a profitable trade, and easy subjects of conversion, or one of 
hostility and resistance, using their own resources and modes of defensive and 
offensive warfare. The policy of the whites was to aggravate the dissensions 
of the tribes, and to make alliance with one or more of them. Winthrop 
records in March, 1631, the visit to Boston of a Connecticut Indian, probably 
a Mohegan, who invited the English to come and plant near the river, and 
who offered presents, with the promise of a profitable trade. His object 
proved to be to engage the interest of the whites against the Pequots. 
His errand was for the time unsuccessful. Further advances of a similar 
character were made aftenvards, the result being to persuade the English 
that, sooner or. later, they would need to interfere as umpires, and must 
use discretion in a wise regard to what would prove to be for their own 
interest. In 1633 the Pequots had savagely mutilated and murdered a 
party of English traders, who, under Captain Stone, of Virginia, had gone 
up the Connecticut. The Boston magistrates had instituted measures to 
call the Pequots to account, but nothing effectual was done. The Dutch 
had a fort on the river near Hartford, and the English had built one at 
its mouth. In 1636 several settlements had been made in Connecticut by 



the English from Cambridge, Dorchester, and other places. John Oldham, 
of Watertown, had in that year been murdered, while on a trading voyage, 
by same Indians belonging on Block Island. To avenge this act our 
magistrates sent Endicott, as general, with a body of ninety men, with 
orders to kill all the male Indians on that island, sparing only the women 
and little children. He accomplished his bloody work only in part; but 
after destroying all the corn-fields and wigwams, he turned to hunt the 
Pequots on the main. After this expedition, which simply exasperated the 
Pequots, they made a desperate effort to induce the Narragansetts to come 
into a league with them against the English. It seemed for a while as if 
they would succeed in this, and the consequences would doubtless have 
been most disastrous to the whites. The scheme was thwarted largely 
through the wise and friendly intervention of Roger Williams, whose 
diplomacy was made effective by the confidence which his red neighbors 
had in him. The Narragansett messengers then entered into a friendly 
league with the English in Boston. 1 All through the winter of 1637 the 
Pequots continued to pick off the 
whites in their territory, and they /J 

mutilated, tortured, roasted, and mur- 
dered at least thirty victims, becoming 
more and more vindictive and cruel f ~^/ 
in their doings. There were then in 
Connecticut some two hundred and 

fifty Englishmen, and, as has been said, j 

about a thousand Pequot " braves." 
The authorities in Connecticut reso- 
lutely started a military organization, 
giving the command to the redoubtable 
John Mason, a Low-Country oldier, 
who had recently gone from Dorchester. Massachusetts and Plymouth 
contributed their quotas, having as allies the Mohegans, of whose fidelity 
they had fearful misgivings, but who proved constant though not very effec- 
tive. Of the hundred and sixty men raised by Massachusetts, only about 

i [This was in October, 1636. The famed in 4 Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. Cf. Arnold's Rhode 
Miantonomoh was the chief who came to Boston. Island, i. ch. iii. ED.] 

Savage's edition of Winthrop's New England, 2 [Mason's life has been written by Dr. Ellis 

i. 236. A view of the monument erected to in Sparks's series of biographies. He had lived 
Miantonomoh's memory is given in Bryant and in Dorchester from 1630 to 1635. The lines of 

his descendants are traced in the N. E. 
Hist, and Geneal. Reg., April, 1861, and 
in the ATemoir ofATrs. Mary Anna Board- 
^ man, New Haven, 1849. Stoughton was 
also a Dorchester man, and commanded 
the expedition that sailed from Boston in 
June, 1637, to follow up the successes of 
Gay's United States, ii. 95. As to the form of Mason. Gardiner was now a Connecticut man, 
Miantonomoh's name, see Dr. Trumbull in the but he had arrived in Boston and had been em- 
Hist. Mag. ii. 205. Letters of Roger Williams ployed as an engineer in planning the works on 
at this time are given in the " Winthrop Papers " Fort Hill in 1632. There is an account of him 



twenty, under Captain Underbill, a good fighter, but a sorry scamp, 
reached the scene in season to join with Mason in surprising the unsus- 
pecting and sleeping Pequots in one of their forts near the Mystic. Fire, 
lead, and steel, with the infuriated vengeance of Puritan soldiers against 
murderous and fiendish heathen, did effectively the exterminating work. 
Hundreds of the savages, in their maddened frenzy of fear and dismay, 
were shot or run through as they were impaled on their own palisades in 
their efforts to rush from their blazing wigwams, crowded within their 
frail enclosures. The English showed no mercy, for they felt none. The 
language and tone in which three of the leaders in the daring and desperate 
massacre have, as writers of little tracts, described the scene, indicate that 
they regarded themselves as engaged in a meritorious work, In fact, as the 
willing agents of the Almighty, whose special providences were evidently 
engaged for their help. A very few of the wretched savages escaped to 
another fort, to which the victorious English followed them. This, how- 
ever, they soon abandoned, taking refuge, with their old people and chil- 
dren, in the protection of swamps and thickets. Here, too, the English, 
who had lost but two men killed, though they had many wounded, and who 
were now reinforced, pursued and surrounded them, allowing the aged and 
the children, by a parley, to come out. The men, however, were mostly 
slain, and the feeble remnant of them which sought protection ajnong the 
so-called river Indians, higher up the Connecticut, and among the Mohawks, 
were but scornfully received, the Pequot sachem, Sassacus, being beheaded 
by the latter. A few of the prisoners were sold in the West Indies as slaves, 
others were reduced to the same humiliation among the Mohegans, or as 
farm and house servants to the English, a wretched fate for once free 
roamers of the wild woods. But the alliances into which the whites had 
entered in order to divide their savage foes were the occasions of future 
entanglements in a tortuous policy, and of later bloody struggles of an 
appalling character. Thus, in its origin, causes, and results, we read of the 
first fierce struggle of our ancestral stock with the aborigines on the soil 
which the new comers believed, or taught themselves to believe, belonged 
by the ordinance of Heaven to them. It is for later pages in this volume 
to follow their chronicles in a yet more desperate crisis, which brought 
extreme peril nearer to the homes and hearts of the people of Boston. 1 

In all candor the admission must be made, that Christian white men, 
Puritans, with all the humanity which they practised towards their 
own brethren, and all the piety which they professed towards God, allowed 
themselves to be trained by the experience of Indian warfare into a savage 
cruelty and a desperate vengefulness, hardly distinguishing themselves at 
any point from the victims of their rage. This assertion covers not only the 

in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., x. Notes of his descend- furnished by Massachusetts, Boston supplied 

ants are given in Thompson's Hist, of Long twenty-six. En.] 

Island, ii. 378, and in the Heraldic Journal, l [Chapter on " Philip's War," by the Rev. 

iii. 82. Of the one hundred and sixty men E. E. Hale. ED.] 



infuriate warfare of our soldiers, but equally our legislative acts and meas- 
ures, and the temper and language of contemporary writers and historians, 
especially the foremost ones, who were clergymen, like Increase Mather and 
William Hubbard. The heat, the passion, the scorn, and the vindictiveness 
with which the last-named writers, for instance, have recorded our early 
Indian wars, certainly bring the frame of their spirits, if not their sense of 
humanity, under question. 1 They and the English soldiers and magistrates 
whose deeds they record are entitled, however, to such palliating or explan- 
atory pleading in their behalf as their own circumstances and experiences, 
and the extremities of the situation in the times of which they wrote may 
fairly demand or allow. Our soldiers, magistrates, and early historians, if 
thus challenged, would have justified themselves, in the main, by referring 
to their own experience of Indian warfare, the atrocities and barbarities of 
which drove them to the desperate conviction that they were dealing rather 
with the fiends of hell as indeed they said they were than with creatures 
like themselves, however low in the scale of humanity. A review of our 
colonial and national history, reaching down to that of the years last passed, 
would present a mass of evidence to prove that white men on the border 

- 1 [The principal early writers on the Pequot 
war are these : Mason wrote an account, which 
was given in good part by Increase Mather in 
his Relation of the Troubles in New England, 
1677, as being the work of John Allyn, Secre- 
tary of the Colony of Connecticut, but was 
printed from the original manuscript by Prince 
in 1736, and again, following Prince's edition, 
in 2 Mass. Hist. Coll. viii. 120-153, and once more 
reprinted by Sabin in 1869. Captain John Under- 
hill, of Boston, who had taken part in it, published 
News from America, London, 1638 (in Harvard 
College Library), which is reprinted in 3 Mass. 
Hist Coll. vi. Rev. Philip Vincent, also an eye- 
witness, published True Relation of the late Battcll 
fought in New England, London, 1637 (second 
edition, 1638, in Harvard College Library, and in 
the Prince Library), which is reprinted in 3 Mass. 
Hist. Coll., vi. 29-43. Captain Lion Gardiner's 
Relation of the Pcqnot Wars was drawn up partly 
from old papers about twenty-three years after the 
war, and remained in manuscript till 1833, when 
it was printed in 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., iii. 131-160. 
Drake thinks it the most valuable, in some re- 
spects, of all the early accounts. It is reprinted 
in the appendix of some copies of the edition of 
Penhallow's Indian IVars, edited by Dodge, Cin- 
cinnati, 1859. There are other contemporary 
accounts in Winthrop's New England ; and in 
Winthrop's letters given in Bradford's Plymouth. 
Plantation, in R. C. Winthrop's Life and Letters 
of Winthrop, ii., and one of them in Morton's 
Memorial. Johnson, Wonder-working Providence, 
gives some account; and a letter of Jonathan 
Brevvster, describing its outbreak, is given in 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., May, 1860. 

Of the later narratives are Increase Mather's 
Relation, above mentioned, covering the Indian 
troubles, 1614-75, which has been of late years 
edited by S. G. Drake (in 1864). Cotton Ma- 
ther gives another account in his Magnalia, bk. 
vii. ch. vi. Hubbard's account covers 1607-77. 
The Boston edition, 1677, i called Narrative of 
the Troubles with the Indians in New England, 
while there was an edition issued the same year 
in London under the title of The Present Sta'e 
of New England, being a Narrative, &c. Field, 
Indian Bibliography, p. 179, says there were two 
issues, if not two separate editions, in Boston in 
1677, and he thinks the Boston and London edi- 
tions were in part printed simultaneously from 
copies of the same manuscript. S. G. Drake 
has edited it of late years, with a preface; and 
he says the best text is that of the second, 1677, 
edition, and that later editions have usually fol- 
lowed the inaccurate 1775 edition. Hubbard 
also gives a chapter to the Pequot war in his His- 
tory of Neiv England. Hist. Mag., August and 
November, 1857 ; Sibley, Harvard Graduates, 
p. 60. M. C. Tyler, American Literature, ii. 
135, characterizes these early chroniclers. Miles, 
" History of the French and Indian Wars," in 
3 Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. and 4 ibid, v., is held by 
Palfrey to be not very accurate. The more ac- 
cessible modern writers are these : Drake, Book 
of the Indians, bk. ii. ch. vi., and " Notes " in 
N. E. Hist, and Cental. Keg., January, 1858, 
&c. ; Barry, Hist, of Mass. i. ch. viii. ; Palfrey, 
New England, i. 456; Bryant and Gay, United 
Slates, ii. ch. i. ; Trumbull, History of Connec- 
ticut, iii. ch. v. ; G. E. Ellis, Life of John Mason, 
&c. ED.] 


frontiers of civilization have steadily become more and more ruthless un- 
der these experiences of savage warfare. The complete extinction of the red 
race is the sole solution of the problem accepted by the vast majority of 
those soldiers or border settlers who have had to deal with savages. The 
Massachusetts Puritans may not have avowed this conviction so frankly as 
have many who have succeeded to them on this soil. But they seem to 
have acted in the full belief of it. It is observable in our early chronicles 
that the feelings with which our colonists regarded the natives, and the rela- 
tion in which they put themselves towards them, underwent a rapid change 
as the parties came into fuller acquaintance. At first the whites felt a vague 
sense of obligation to the savages on whose possessions they were entering, 
deeming themselves held, as superiors and as Christians, to offices of pity, 
help, and mercy to such forlorn heathen. Very soon, however, indifference, 
neglect, contempt, arbitrary assumption, and severe repression manifested 
themselves in all the white man's dealings with the Indians. Cotton 
Mather wrote of them: "These doleful creatures are the veriest ruins of 
mankind. One might see among them what a hard master the Devil 
is to the most devoted of his vassals." It was at once taken for granted 
by the colonists that the natives were natural subjects of the English 
monarch, bound to allegiance and obedience. So far as the savages 
comprehended the meaning of this assumption, they were at a loss to 
apprehend the grounds of it ; and though they were ingeniously induced 
to assent, it was evident that they were never really reconciled to it. The 
perplexity and the antagonism thus stirred in the breasts of the freemen of 
Nature were greatly strengthened when they came to learn that the English 
among them regarded them not only as fellow-subjects of the monarch 
across the sea, but as really their subjects, held to obedience and tribute to 
them, as their masters. The Indian was slow in coming to realize that the 
first appearance of a few not formidable parties of white men left here by 
vessels that at once sailed away, were but little ripples of one wave of the 
rolling tide which was soon to cover these shores and to surge on till it 
reached the further ocean. As soon as the ominous signs of the fate which 
awaited themselves were realized for what they foreboded, the savages were 
roused to a desperate but futile resistance. It was too late for them. The 
whites could not cornplain if, against their implements of steel and their 
skill and firearms, the Indians made use of all the guile and strategy of their 
wilderness tactics, the subtilty and secrecy of ambush, the midnight sur- 
prise, the arrow tipped with flaming tow to fire the thatched roof of the 
cabin, the skulking shot from behind a tree, and the arts learned from the 
couching and springing of the wild beasts of the forest. But the maxim 
that all tricks and frauds are fair in open war would not cover the revolting 
and torturous ingenuities of malice, rage, and fiendish cruelty by which the 
savages deferred the death and prolonged the exquisite torments of their 
victims. The midnight yells and shrieks which palsied with horror the in- 
mates of a rude cabin in the woods, the braining of infants, the agonies of 


the gauntlet, the scornful mockings, aggravating death by slow fires, and all 
the cunning mutilations by which the savages surpassed the skill of the an- 
atomist and the vivisector in approaching but still avoiding the centres of 
vitality, naturally induced in the whites a belief that they were dealing with 
imps from Pandemonium. When report was made by two of the English, in 
a boat on the Connecticut, that they had seen the quartered bodies of two 
whites hanging on trees, and that Captain John Tilley, while fowling in a 
canoe, was seized by ambushed Pequots, who cut off his hands and feet, and 
praised him for his " stoutness " under the torture in which he lingered for 
three days, white men, and white women too, were assured that humanity 
was left wholly out of the account, with every alleviating mercy of quick and 
painless death, in savage warfare. Instances are on record in our later annals 
of frontiersmen, who, having seen their wives and little ones subjected to all 
the barbarous outrages of Indian malignity, registered vows of vengeance, 
devoting the remainder of their lives to tramping and ambushing for the 
sole errand of destroying a holocaust of the red race. Our own colonists 
very soon came to regard the savages as simply the most noxious and ven- 
omous class of the vermin and serpents and wild-cats of thewoods. Happily 
it is not in our English, but in the Frenchman's chronicles of his retaliatory 
imitation of savage barbarities, that we read of the infliction by white men 
of the death by fire and torture of perfidious red men. But the records of 
the General Court of Massachusetts contain the tariff of premiums offered 
and paid for the scalps taken by our enlisted soldiers, or by our volunteers, 
from Indian men and women, boys and girls. It was the Rev. Solomon Stod- 
dard, of Northampton, who, after the horrors which Deerfield had twice suf- 
fered from Indian massacre, wrote to Governor Dudley, in 1703, a letter, from 
which the following is an extract, proposing that the English near him " may 
be put into y e way to hunt y e Indians with dogs as they doe bears," as is 
done in Virginia. He adds : " If y e Indians were as other people are, and did 
manage their war fairly after y e manner of other nations, it might be looked 
upon as inhumane to pursue them in such a manner. But they are to be 
looked upon as thieves and murderers ; they doe acts of hostility without 
proclaiming war ; they don't appear openly in y e feeld to bid us battle ; 
they use those cruelly that fall into their hands ; they act like wolves and 
are to be dealt withall as wolves." l It is to be noticed also that, just pre- 
vious to our Pequot war, the colonists of Virginia had been nearly exter- 
minated by an Indian massacre, secretly and artfully planned, and awful in 
its havoc. 

We must turn now to another part of our theme concerning the relations 
between the colonists and the natives. Hardly more cheering is it in the 
review than that we have just rehearsed. Considering the emphasis laid 
upon the duty and purpose of efforts for the conversion of the natives in 
the charter of the colony, and by those who brought it with them, it must 
be admitted that little, if any, credit is due to them for labor spent or for 

1 4 Mass. Hist. Coll. ii. 235-237. 
VOL. I. 33. 


success attained in that work. One signal achievement, a monument of 
holy zeal and pious toil, invested now with a pathetic interest, remains to us 
in Eliot's translation of the Bible into the Indian tongue, to testify to the 
consecrated labor of an individual to discharge a Christian obligation to the 
dark and doomed savage. A very few other names there are like those of 
the Mayhews, Gookin, Cotton, Shepard, and Bourne which deserve to be 
mentioned with respect and homage for their patient service in that unre- 
warding field. But neither the records of the Court, nor the attitude in 
which the large majority of the colonists put themselves toward the sacred 
task, or even towards those who assumed its heaviest responsibility, testify 
to any enthusiasm about it. It must be confessed, likewise, that the first 
general sense of obligation toward the savages was stirred by questionings 
and censures of the colonists from their friends in England, while, as may 
be considered pardonable on account of the poverty of our early days, the 
funds spent in the work came very largely from abroad. The colonists well 
knew how zealously, and with what in the view of the missionaries was 
regarded as rewarding success, the Franciscan and Jesuit priests in the 
French settlements had given themselves to the work of bringing savages 
within the fold of the Church. But neither the methods nor the fruits of 
this priestly zeal commended themselves to the Puritans. As we shall have 
occasion to notice, the Puritans thought an alleged convert made by the 
priests as hardly a whit better than a heathen. 

When John Eliot, of Roxbury, and Thomas Mayhew, of Martha's Vine- 
yard, almost simultaneously gave themselves to the work of converting the 
natives, some of the most inquisitive of the latter put to them the natural 
but embarrassing question, why the English should have allowed nearly 
thirty years, the period of a generation, to pass, since their first occupancy 
of the soil of Massachusetts, before beginning that work? The colonists 
had learned enough of the Indian tongue for the purposes of trade and 
barter. They had made the natives feel the power and superiority of the 
white man, who kept them at a distance as barbarians and pagans, holding 
them subject to his own laws for theft, polygamy, and murder, and waging 
dire war against them for acts which the Indians regarded as only a defence 
of their natural rights. Incidentally, indeed, the natives who had come into 
contact with the whites had received from them help, tools, appliances, and 
many comforts relieving the desolateness of their lot and life. But only 
after this long delay had the white man proposed to make the savages full 
sharers in his blessings of civilization and religion. The childlike sincerity 
of Eliot furnished him with a reply which best apologized for the neglect of 
the past by regret, and by the earnestness of his purpose for the future. 
The Presbyterian Baylie, in his invective against the New England " Church- 
Way," had charged upon its supporters that, " of all that ever crossed the 
America seas, they were the most neglectful of the work of conversion." 
He rests his charge upon quotations from the Key into the Languages of 
America, written by Roger Williams on his voyage to England, in the spring 


of 1643, which was published in London in the summer of that year. From 
another little essay of Williams's Baylie quotes the following sentences : " For 
our New England parts, I can speak it confidently, I know it to have been 
easie for myself long ere this to have brought many thousands of these 
natives, yea the whole community, to a far greater anti-Christian conversion 
than was ever heard of in America. I could have brought the whole countrey 
to have observed one day in seven, I adde, to have received Baptisme; to 
have come to a stated Church meeting; to have maintained Priests and 
Forms of Prayer, and a whole form of anti-Christian worship in life and 
death. Wo be to me if I call that conversion to God, which is indeed the 
subversion of the souls of millions in Christendom from one false worship 
to another. God was pleased to give me a patient, painful spirit to lodge 
with them in their filthy, smoky holes, to gain their tongue." 

By these censures the Court of Massachusetts may have been prompted 
to its action in March, 1644. Some of the sachems, with their subjects, were 
induced to come under a covenant of voluntary subjection to the Government, 
and into an agreement to worship the God of the English, to observe the com- 
mandments, to allow their children to be taught to read the Bible, &c. The 
county courts were ordered in the same year to take care for the civilization 
of the Indians, and for their instruction in the knowledge and worship of 
God. In the next year 1645 the Court desired that " the reverend Elders 
propose means to bring the natives to the knowledge of God and his wayes, 
and to civilize them as speedily as may be." President Dunster seems to have 
been regarded as eccentric in urging that the Indians were to be instructed 
through their own language rather than through the English. In November, 
1646, the Court, admitting that the Indians were not to be compelled to 
accept Christianity, decreed that they were to be held amenable to what it 
regarded as simple natural religion, and so should -be punished for blas- 
phemy, should be forbidden to worship false gods, and that all pow-wowing 
should at once be prohibited. " Necessary and wholesome laws for the 
reducing them to the civility of life " should be made, and read to them 
once in- a year by some able interpreter. 

The ever-honored representative of Puritan zeal and piety in the service 
of the natives, who, with his co-workers, Mayhew and Gookin, can alone 
" match the Jesuit " in this work, was the famous John Eliot. Yet even he 
and his foremost assistants fell short of the extreme devotedness of the 
Jesuit, in lonely, isolated labor and peril, as in the depths of the wilderness 
he identified himself in manner of life with the savage. The modest Eliot, 
who had been called " the Indian Evangelist " in a tract by Edward Winslow, 
objected to bearing the title, as in use " for that extraordinary office men- 
tioned in the New Testament," and asked that the sacred word should " be 
obliterated in any copies of the books that remain unsold." What would 
Eliot have said to the title of " Apostle," which he has long borne, and will 
ever bear unchallenged ; or even to that of " the Augustine of New England," 
which M. Du Ponceau attached to his name? 


Eliot, born in 1604,* came to New England in 1631, and was settled 
as pastor in Roxbury the next year, having declined the office in the Boston 
Church. He served in his pastorate till his death in 1690, at the age of 86; 
his faithful partner, who had come over from England to be married to him, 
dying shortly before him, in her 84th year. From his first settlement, Eliot 
had given thought and heart to the welfare of the natives. As soon as his 
efforts seemed hopeful to himself, he met with incredulity and even oppo- 
sition from many around him. It must be confessed that only from a very 
few, and those most earnest in their own piety, did he ever receive full sym- 
pathy ; and this in but rare cases reached to enthusiasm. Winslow, the 
agent of the Colony in England, won friends for Eliot's object there, and 
brought about the incorporation of a society, in 1649, which furnished funds 
for its encouragement. To that same society Harvard College, in its early 
poverty and struggles, was more largely indebted than has been generally 
recognized. The Massachusetts Court, in 1647, voted Eliot a gratuity often 
pounds for his work. 

Eliot says that an Indian taken in the Pequot wars, and who lived in 
Dorchester, was the first native " whom he used to teach him words, and to 
be his interpreter." He took the most unwearied pains in his strange lessons 
from this uncouth teacher, finding progress very slow and baffling, receiving 
no aid from the other tongues which he had learned and taught in England 
and which were so differently constituted, inflected, and augmented. Though 
he is regarded as having gained an amazing mastery of the Indian language, 
he frequently, even at the close of a half century in his work, avows and 
laments his lack of skill in it. He secured from time to time what he calls 
the more " nimble-witted " natives, young or grown, to live with him in 
Roxbury, and to accompany him on his visits, to interchange with him 
words and ideas. A beautiful tribute was borne to him by Shepard, of 
Cambridge, who said that while some of the English exceeded Eliot in con- 
verse with the Indians about common matters, trade, &c., " in sacred lan- 
guage, about the holy things of God, Mr. Eliot excels any other of the 
English." Differences of judgment have been expressed as to the capacity 

1 [An account of his ancestry is given in 1680, also gives an account of an interview. It 

"The Pilgrim Fathers of Nazing," in the N. E. is printed in the Long Island Hist. Soc. Coll., and 

Hist, and Geneal. Reg., April, 1874. The will of extracted from in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc., May, 

his father, Bennett Elliott, with notes, is given 1874. There are various later lives of Eliot, one 

in the Heraldic Journal, iv. 182. His descend- by Convers Francis ; another in Mass. Hist. Soc. 

ants are given in W. S. Porter's Genealogy of the Coll. viii.; one in the Methodist Magazine, 1818; 

Eliots, New Haven, 1854. The tabular pedigree others by Dearborn, Thornton, and N. Adams, 

given in Drake's Boston was prepared by William and a sketch by Miss Yonge in her Pioneers and 

H. Whitmore, who had printed ten copies of it Founders. A paper by the Rev. Martin Moore 

in a somewhat different form.previously, in 1857. on Eliot and his converts in the Amer. Quarterly 

He has also traced the family in the N. E. Hist. Register is reprinted in Beach's Indian Mis- 

and Geneal. Reg. t July, 1869. The earliest life cellany. Cf. Biglow's Hist, of Natick, and the 

of Eliot is Cotton Mather's, 1691, afterwards accounts of Natick and Newton in the History 

embodied in his Magnolia, which is largely bor- of Middlesex County,\\. The general historians, 

rowed from by Dunton, who describes a visit to Hubbard, Palfrey, Barry, &c., of course deal with 

Eliot in 1686. Dunton's Letters, p. 192; Drake, the subject. ED.] 
Town of Roxbury, p. 185. Danker's Journal, 



and adaptability of the Indian tongue for converse on themes of dignity, in 
abstract discourse. Mr. Leverich, of Sandwich, a successful Indian preacher, 
highly commended the language for such uses. Eliot thought Mr. Cotton, 
of Plymouth, his own superior in the mastery of it. Only after two years 


study did he venture to preach in it, but even then he would not offer prayer 
in it. On the 28th of October, 1646, on a hill in Nonantum, Eliot first 
preached to the chief Waban and some of his subjects in their own tongue 
a discourse from Ezekiel, xxxviii. 9, of an hour and a quarter in length. 

1 [This cut is made, by permission, from a 
photograph of a portrait owned by Mrs. William 
Whiting, of Roxbury, which bears the following 
inscription in the upper left-hand corner : "John 
Elliot, the Apostle of the Indians. Nascit. 1604. 
Obit, 1690," which constitutes the only direct 
evidence of its authenticity. If authentic, it must 
have been painted in this country, for Eliot never 
returned to England. It would have been nat- 

ural for Boyle to have employed some one to 
portray the missionary in whose labors he had 
taken so much interest. In 1851 the late Hon. 
William Whiting, M.C., found the painting in the 
shop of a dealer in London, who seemed to have 
a notion that the " Indians " were East Indians. 
He could give no account of the source from 
which the picture came, having purchased it 
with others. ED.] 


His prayer was in English, as he scrupled lest he might use some unfit or 
unworthy terms in the solemn office. This prompted an inquiry from his 
interested but bewildered listeners, whether God would understand prayer 
offered to him in the Indian tongue? His method in subsequent visits, when 
he gained more confidence, was to offer a short prayer in Indian, to recite 
and explain the Ten Commandments, to describe the character, work, and 
offices of Christ as Saviour and Judge, to tell his hearers about the crea- 
tion, fall, and redemption of man, and to persuade them to repentance. He 
then encouraged them to put any questions that rose to their minds, prom- 
ising them answers and explanations. Some of their queries were so apt and 
pertinent, indicating much acumen, that their good friend was often puzzled 
to satisfy them. Cotton Mather, in commending Eliot's style in sermoniz- 
ing, said : " Lambs might wade into his discourses on those texts and themes 
wherein elephants might swim." Such a style must have been equally 
suited to his white and red auditors. Some of the leading men of the 
colony, magistrates and ministers, occasionally accompanied Eliot on his 
preaching visits, and however they may have fallen short of his enthusiasm 
and hopefulness, they gratefully appreciated his devotion and zeal. 

From the very entrance upon his work, Eliot set before himself an aim 
and plan, as the prime conditions of any successful effort for the sure and 
permanent benefit of the natives, which put him and other Puritan, and indeed 
all Protestant, missionaries to the Indians into the broadest possible diver- 
gence from the methods of the Jesuits. These latter sought to interfere as 
slightly as possible with the native habits, the wild ways, the freedom and 
impulses of the savages. As a general thing all the French colonists, lay 
and clerical, associating with the Indians, compromised themselves and their 
own civilization by meeting the Indians more than halfway, by living with 
them on easy if not equal terms, adopting their free habits, indulging their 
humors, and scrupulously avoiding all crossing their inclinations or shocking 
their prejudices. The Frenchmen did not bind the savages to fixed resi- 
dences, nor compel them to live in houses, to wear white men's clothing, to 
be scrupulous about cleanliness, or dainty in their food. They shared the 
natives' wigwams, their loathsome cookery, not troubled much by contact 
with their filth, vermin, and immodesty. A few simply ritual ceremonies, 
a repetition of prayer or chant, and the baptismal rite turned the doomed 
heathen into a lovely Christian, and set him in equality with the Frenchman. 
All didactic, moral, intellectual training was regarded as needless or unes- 
sential. The simplest assent to the chief and to a few subordinate doctrines 
or dogmas of the Church was all sufficient. A savage might, under the 
stress of circumstances, pass through the saving, and, so to speak, the con- 
verting and Christianizing, process within ten minutes, or even in one. Quite 
otherwise did Eliot apprehend the conditions of his exacting work, if it was 
to have any measure of assurance for success. He aimed to establish com- 
munities of the Indians in fixed settlements, exclusively their own, with en- 
tirely changed habits of life, dependent no longer upon hunting and roaming, 


but pursuing industrious occupations, with lands cleared and fenced, mod- 
estly clothed, living in houses, regarding propriety and decency. Ultimately 
they were to have local magistrates, mechanics, teachers, and preachers of 
their own race, with all the comforts and securities of the towns of the white 
men, and organized and covenanted churches. He wrote, " I find it abso- 
lutely necessary to carry on civility with religion." After deliberate exam- 
ination of several localities, Eliot made choice of a region which still bears 
its original name, Natick, for his fond experiment for the subjects of his 
care, who came to be known as " the praying Indians." A considerable 
company of the natives was gathered here in 1651. Eliot kept the General 
Court informed of all his proceedings, and sought its sympathy and aid. It 
is curious to read on the Records enactments by which portions of our 
wilderness territory, the whole of which had so recently been regarded by 
the savages as in their unchallenged ownership, were bounded off, as hence- 
forward to be their own for improvement. There does not seem to have 
been much heartiness in this legislation, the kind purpose of which alternated 
with measures of apprehension, caution, and restraint. There was always a 
party in the colony, not wholly composed of the " ungodly," or the unfeel- 
ing and self-seeking classes, who looked with distrust, indifference, or avowed 
hostility upon the work of Eliot and his supporters. Such persons thought 
they had come fully to understand what an Indian was in blood and fibre, 
in native proclivity and irreclaimable savagery. Indeed, some of them saw 
in specimens of the first alleged converts to the white man's faith and ways 
satisfactory evidence either that the Indian could not really be transformed 
and renewed, or that he was not worth the labor spent on his conversion. 

The experiment at Natick, the first of a series of a dozen others made 
with degrees of completeness in plan in several places, was, like most of them, 
under the special care of Eliot. He was modest, unassuming, deferential, 
ready to yield his own preferen- . ^ y. / <, ^ 

ces, and ever cautious, while seek- /y o/O^A J^jf~s 
ing wisdom from others. At one J // 

interval he seems to have had ^ 

encouragement of full rewarding J' ' * 

success. While religiously faith- o/X#-^ ^, 

ful to all the exacting routine of duty in his Roxbury parish, his rule was to 
visit Natick once a fortnight, visiting in the alternate week the wigwam of 
Cutshamakin, in Dorchester, in all weathers ; riding on his horse eighteen 
miles by a way through woods, over hills and swamps and streams, which 
his journeys opened into a road. He carried with him heavy and miscella- 
neous burdens. Though his own beverage was water, his diet the simplest, 
and he abhorred tobacco, he was willing that the Indians should in some cases 
have wine, while he himself replenished their pipes. He always had apples, 
nuts, and other little gifts for the pappooses. He had acquired that fine 

1 [The letter to which this is the subscription inet, " Miscellaneous," 1632-1795, p. 9, and it is 
is in the Massachusetts Historical Society's cab- printed in Mass. Hist. Coll. vi. 201. ED.] 


accomplishment of being a graceful beggar of something from everybody, 
his own comfort and needs dropping out of thought in his care for 
others. The cast-off clothing, and even much that had not come to that 
indignity, of his own parishioners and friends and the widest compass of 
neighbors, was solicited, and generally was borne on ,his horse's shoulders 
or crupper, to eke out the civilized array of his red pupils. Without over- 
wrought enthusiasm, and with meek patience and slow, steady advances, 
Eliot met all the obstacles which he looked for in dealing with an intracta- 
ble race. With the same mild virtues he parried the distrust and opposition 
of many around him. Even some sincere but misgiving lookers-on thought 
he was anticipating a work which should be deferred till the time was prov- 
identially reached " for the coming in of y e fulness of y Gentiles." The 
worldling complained of him for injuring the trade in peltry with the Indians. 
The magistrates were by no means always faithful in keeping even the letter 
of their covenants, and were cool as to the spirit of them. Meanwhile the 
Indian pow-wows, magicians, sorcerers, medicine-men, were secretly jealous, 
sometimes actively hostile. The sachems were deprived of tribute from their 
subjects. King Philip, hearing of the work across his borders, positively 
refused to entertain the missionaries, to listen to their teaching, or to allow 
his subjects to be approached by it. And he spoke in bitter contempt of 
the English creed and religion. Roger Williams wrote, in 1654, that in his 
recent visit to England he had been charged by the Narragansett sachems to 
petition Cromwell and the council in their behalf, that they should not 
be compelled to change their religion. King Philip, taking hold of one of 
Eliot's coat-buttons, told him he cared no more for his religion than for 
that. This desperate hard-heartedness in Philip prompted Cotton Mather 
to speak of him as " a blasphemous Leviathan." Uncas, sachem of the 
Mohegans, forbade any proselyting work among his Indians. 

The bounds for the Indian town of Natick " the place of hills" were 
drawn by the Court in 1652. Over Charles River, which ran through it, 
sometimes fordable, sometimes swollen, the natives built a strong arched 
foot-bridge, eighty feet long, and eight feet high, its piles laden with stone. 
The rude builders were especially proud of their work, which stood firm, 
while in the next freshet an English bridge near by, in Medfield, was carried 
down the stream. Three wide parallel streets, two on one side and one on the 
other of the river, ran through the town. The territory was portioned into lots 
for houses, tillage, and pasturage. Fruit-trees were planted, with walls and 
fences. A palisadoed fort enclosed a meeting-house fifty feet long, twenty- 
five wide, and twelve high, built of squared timber, in English fashion, by 
the natives, with two days' aid from an English carpenter. The space within 
was to be used for a school, and for preaching and worship, while the attic, 
besides a store-room, contained a bed-room for Eliot ; for, unlike the Jesuit 
missionary, he insisted on his own privacy, and brought with him food pre- 
pared by his wife, as his English stomach would not bear the diet and culi- 
nary work and apparatus of the natives. His average Indian auditory was 


about an hundred, a few whites being generally present. The place soon 
began to wear the air of industry and thrift, with a show of comfort. The 
Indians were indulged in their antipathy to the English style of houses and 
lodgings, but cleanliness and decency, for which the natives were utterly and 
unblushingly wanting all sense, were rigidly insisted upon. Eliot established 
over them a theocratic and Jewish form of municipal government, by rulers 
of tens, fifties, and an hundred. They came to have magistrates and school 
teachers, of both sexes, of their own race. They entered into a solemn 
religious covenant, Sept. 24, 165 1, " with God and each other, to be governed 
by the Word of the Lord in all things." The most earnest efforts were 
made for the primer and catechetical teaching of the children in English, 
and also in preparing youth, by a dame and a grammar-school at Cam- 
bridge, for entering Harvard College, so that there might be well-instructed 
Indian and English preachers in both tongues. 

Eliot, by letter and report, 1 steadily kept the society and its officers in 
England informed of the progress of his holy work. His letters, hopeful 
and genial, are also frank, candid, and not greatly over-colored. A series of 
now very rare tracts and essays were printed at the time, which modestly 
take their titles from the stages of advance, as " The Day Breaks," " The 
Dawn Advances," "The Clear Orb appears and mounts to the Meridian." 2 
The crowning aim for which the devout and single-hearted Indian Apostle 
was laboring with no undue expectancy, well knowing that it must be de- 
layed and toiled for till it came with its own assurance of ripeness and joy 
was that he might live to find all the needful sacred conditions fulfilled in which 
he might gather "a Church of Christ" after the Puritan fashion, composed 
of regenerated and covenanted Indian men and women, with the seals of the 
sacraments, and a baptized flock. This required "a company of saints by 
profession and in the judgement of charity." The strict observance of the 
Sabbath, family prayer, grace at meals, Bible-reading, a conviction of their 
sinful and lost state, spiritual experience of renewal, and a sincere purpose to 
lead a godly, consistent life were the means and stages of the culminating 
result. The Indian pastor must rival in ability, attainment, zeal, and piety 
the English minister, and, putting himself in communion with sister churches, 
his own flock must be equal to them in all gospel relations. The brethren 
and sisters, when thus covenanted, would have a strict watch and ward over 

1 [Various letters of Eliot to the corporation them, and several are reprinted in 3 Mass. Hist. 
are printed in Mass. Hist. Soc. Proc , November, Coll. iv. 

1879. There are others in Birch's Life of Robert Dr. Trumbull's Origin and Early Progress of 

Boyle. ED.] Indian Missions in Ne-M England was privately 

2 [The bibliography of this series of tracts reprinted in 1874 from the Amer.Antitj.Soc.Proc. 
can be followed in Dr. Henry M. Dexter's ex- Single tracts have been printed or reprinted in 
haustive "Bibliography of Congregationalism," different places, as Eliot's " Dying Speeches of 
appended to his Congregationalism as seen in its several Indians," in the Sabbath at ffome, 1868, p. 
Literature, 1880. A very valuable series of copies 333, and in the Prince Society's edition of Dnn- 
is recorded, with notes by Dr. Trumbull, in the ton's Letters ; the "Clear Sunshine," in Thomas 
Brinley Catalogue, p. 52, &c. Cf. also Field's Shepard's Works,\\.; and Eliot's Brief Narrative, 
Indian Bibliography. 1670, by Marvin of Boston, &c. See Dr. Trum- 

Sabin, of New York, has reprinted some of bull's chapter in the present volume. ED.] 
VOL. I. 34. 


each other, jealously, guarding themselves against reproach or scandal, keep- 
ing all wrong-doers in awe, attracting the well-disposed, and proving them- 
selves a body of the elect. 

The wisest and most sincerely earnest and good among men, in all their 
private aims and public plans, have always found their accomplished results 
to fall widely short of their purposes; and in such disappointments of 
experience, all the noble and earnest effort that has been spent must be 
regarded as a moral equivalent to what was looked for as success. It can- 
not be claimed that on any large public scale, either of expense or interest, 
Massachusetts tried to fulfil its pledges or its obligations of humane, Chris- 
tian duty to the Indians. Indeed, some of the sharpest rebukes for its 
neglect and failure in this matter came from the more conscientious and 
scrupulous of its own people. Stoddard, of Northampton, wrote a lugubrious 
tract to prove that many of the severest calamities visited on the colony 
might be referred to the displeasure of Providence because so little had been 
done for the conversion of the savages. Notwithstanding all the justice of 
the admission thus made to the discredit of our fathers, it must still be 
affirmed that in full view of the difficulties of their position and of all the 
facts of the case, as we look back upon them, the efforts and toils of Eliot 
and his co-laborers, within the scale and with the means which limited their 
undertaking, were on the whole the most creditable, well-devised, and hope- 
ful enterprise of the kind ever put on trial on this continent. The labors 
of the Jesuit priests among the savages, heroic, self-sacrificing, and constant 
to death, were, in the view of the missionaries themselves, fully rewarded in 
their results. But religious Protestants at the time regarded the boasted 
triumphs of the Church and the Cross among the savages, and all the fond 
complacency of the priests, with simple disgust and contempt. Not the first 
step had in their opinion been taken, or even attempted, to secure what 
they believed to be the true process of saving conversion in the heart and 
conscience of the savage. He had been taught a few " mummeries," had 
been sprinkled with water in the outward form of baptism, and then had 
been left, in habit and way of life, as much of a savage as before. The task 
to which the Puritan missionary set himself, as conditioning his success, was 
a far more exacting and complicated one. Full civilization, if it did not 
with him take precedence of Christian conversion, was the essential accom- 
paniment of it. Cleanliness, decency, a humanized heart, monogamy, chas- 
tity, daily labor in some industrious calling, ability to read, and a quickened 
intellectual activity, could alone serve as a basis for the hopeful material out 
of which to make Christians. The Puritan was also vastly embarrassed and 
put at extreme disadvantage by his own creed, and by the requisitions which 
he felt obliged to make of converts through a training in doctrinal divinity 
and experimental religion. Calvinism has always proved hard teaching to 
heathens of any type, and the Calvinism of the Puritans was, as we shall 
soon see, offered to especially difficult pupils of it. The proffer to the sav- 
ages was a gospel of " Good-News," of joy and blessing. Its first message 


to them was that they were all under the curse of the Englishman's God, 
and doomed to a fearful hell forever. They had not been aware of their 
dreadful condition in these respects ; and between the difficulty of making 
them understand and realize this their desperate state, and of bringing them 
to avail themselves of the method which alone promised deliverance from it, 
the Puritan set himself to a very hard task. Considering these facts in con- 
nection with the well-devised purposes of Eliot, the patient, persistent, and 
tentative plans which he pursued for realizing them must be held worthy of 
the distinctive commendation just assigned to them. Nor can the disas- 
trous failure of any long result from his labors, attributable largely to the 
calamity of King Philip's war, be regarded as essentially derogating from 
this commendation. It might be claimed that the Moravians among the In- 
dians of Pennsylvania had been more wise and successful in their work than 
was the Puritan Eliot. The Moravians have often been presented as models 
for Protestant missionaries among the savages. But it is to be remembered 
that their efforts were made later, with the help of much hard-earned expe- 
rience ; that the subjects of their noble labors were mainly remnants of tribes 
of humbled, subject savages, " women," as their proud barbarian con- 
querors called them, and that, if the Moravians proffered the same essen- 
tial creed for converts, they used it a little more manageably. But the 
Moravians gained much by making a common home with their wild pupils, 
as the Puritans did not. 

Though the culmination of his labors in a Christian church, in mem- 
bership, pastor, and officers composed wholly of Indians, was an object 
so dear to the heart of Eliot, and many of his converts were importu- 
nately impatient to realize the promised boon, his own good sense and well- 
poised discretion deferred the result for four full years. These years he 
had improved by secluding his converts from the white settlements, and 
by keeping them to hard labor, while they were diligently instructed. They 
showed considerable skill in handicrafts and also in municipal administration. 
In 1656 the Court had commissioned Major Daniel Gookin, a man of noble 
and lovable character, and Eliot's most attached co-worker, as the general 
magistrate of all the Indian towns. The income of the English society for 
converting and civilizing the Indians, amounting to the then large sum of 
about seven hundred pounds, was freely spent in the salaries of mission- 
aries and teachers, in printing, and in furnishing goods, tools, clothing, &c., 
for those under training. The first brick edifice in the college yard at Cam- 
bridge was built by the funds of this society, and was called " the Indian 
College," being designed to accommodate twenty native pupils. There the 
Indian Bible was afterwards printed, with primers, tracts, &c. A vessel lad- 
en with utensils and tools for Natick, sent over by this society, was wrecked 
on Cohasset rocks, but some of the freight was saved. Eliot told his 
bewildered converts that Satan, in his spite, wrecked the vessel, while God 
in mercy saved some of the cargo. Eliot's salary from the society rose from 
twenty to forty, and finally to fifty pounds. 


On the very eve of the occasion for instituting the church at Natick, 
" three Indians of y e unsound sort, had got several quarts of strong water." 
The natural consequences followed. Of this Eliot says, " There fell out a 
very great discouragement, which might have been a scandal to them, and I 
doubt not but Satan intended it so. But the Lord improved it to stir up 
faith and prayer, and so turned it another way ! " Serene and mighty is 
that assuring trust which can thus allot the bane and blessing of human 
life to two agents, a lesser and a Mightier! 

A suggestive scene is offered to an artist who would find a subject for 
his pencil in early New England History, in a visit received by Eliot at 
Roxbury, in 1650, from a most unwonted guest. In that year Governor 
D'Aillebout sent to the governors of this and of Plymouth Colony Father 
Druillettes, a Jesuit missionary among the Indians in Canada, to engage 
the English settlers in commercial relations, with a view also to secure them 
in alliance against the Mohawk Indians, the enemies of the French. . There 
was then a law of our General Court that a Jesuit presuming to enter this 
jurisdiction should at once be banished, on pain of death if he ventured to 
return. Druillettes's diplomatic character was his security. He has left a 
charming letter in French describing his visit. Though he was unsuccess- 
ful in the object of his errand, he met with kind treatment and generous 
hospitality. Doubtless the Mass was for the first time celebrated in Boston 
by himself in a private room, with " a key " furnished him by his courteous 
host, Major Gibbons. Governor Endicott in Salem treated him in a friendly 
way, and talked French with him. Governor Bradford, of Plymouth, invited 
him to dinner, and, " it being Friday, entertained him with fish." The 
Father describes his visit to "Mr. Heliot" at Roxbury, who, it being 
November, invited him to stay with him, and thus defer his journey back to 
Canada through the wintry wilderness; but the priest could not remain. 1 

The attractive scene for the artist is the interview between these two 
devoted missionaries to the Indians, who labored for them, each beyond the 
bounds of four-score years, representing the extremes and antagonisms of 
two creeds and policies in the method and aim of their work. Doubtless 
they conferred together as Christian gentlemen, perhaps on something in 
which they could accord, and oblivious of all that divided them. One loves 
to think of Eliot's humble cottage as thus graced. His Indian interpreter 
might have been crouching by the cheerful chimney; and one or more 
Indian youth, whom Eliot always had near him, might have looked on in 
wonder as the cassocked priest and the Puritan discussed the difficulties of 
the Indian tongues, in which both of them attained great skill, and accom- 
plished their ministry as translators and preachers. 

Eliot, in allowing and prompting his converts to ask questions, in order to 
make him sure that they understood his teachings, quickened in them a keen 
spirit of disputation and even casuistry. In the reports which he sent to 

1 [See the conclusion of Mr. C. C Smith's chapter in this volume, on " Boston and the Neigh- 
boring Jurisdictions." ED.] 


England he often reveals some amusing illustrations of the acuteness and 
perplexity of the Indian intellect on the speculative and didactic themes of 
Calvinism. The excellent Gookin writes, " Divers of them had a faculty to 
frame hard and difficult questions, which Mr. Eliot did in a grave and Chris- 
tian manner endeavor to resolve and answer to their satisfaction." Being 
told that they were the children, not of God, but of the Devil, they were 
naturally interested chiefly in the latter. They asked, 

" Whether y" Devil or man was made first ? Whether there might not be some- 
thing, if only a little, gained by praying to y e Devil? Why does not God, who has 
full power, kill y e Devil that makes all men so bad ? If God made Hell in one of the 
' six days,' why did he make it before Adam had sinned ? If all y e world be burned 
up, where shall Hell be then ? Are all y e Indians who have died now in Hell, while 
only we are in y way of getting to Heaven ? Why does not God give all men good 
hearts, that they may be good ? Whither do dying little children go, seeing that they 
have not sinned ? " " This question [says Eliot] gave occasion to teach them more 
fully original sin and the damned state of all men. I could give them no further 
comfort than that, when God elects the parents, he elects their seed also." " If a man 
should be inclosed in iron a foot thick, and thrown into the fire, how would his soul 
get out?" 

There is a sweet beauty in one of the questions put by a pupil of natural 
religion. " Can one be saved by reading y" Book of y e Creature? " [Na- 
ture.] Eliot says, " This question was made when I taught them that God 
gave us two Bookes, and that in y e Booke of y e Creature every creature was 
a word or sentence." 

The good Apostle records some that he calls " weak questions." Among 
these is the following : " What shall be in y c roome of y c world when it is 
burnt up?" This he depreciates as a "woman's question," though it was 
not put by a woman. Only once does he record an instance of trifling: 
" We had this year a malignant, drunken Indian, that, to cast some reproach 
as wee feared upon this way, boldly pronounced this question : ' Mr. Eliot, 
who made Sack? Who made Sack?' [The word for all strong drinks.] He 
was presently snibbed [snubbed?] by y" other Indians calling it a pappoose 
question, and seriously and gravely answered not so much to his question as 
to his spirit, which hath cooled his boldness ever since." The questioner 
was a sad reprobate. He stole, killed, and skinned a young cow, which he 
had the effrontery to pass off on President Dunster as a " moose." 

In deferring the entrance of his converts on a " Church Estate " till they 
were fully trained and disciplined, Eliot had to keep in view the coldness, 
jealousy, and still unreconciled opposition of many -of his Puritan friends, 
who would be sadly affronted by any parody upon, or any debasement of 
the dignity of, their cherished institutions. But the day approached at last. 
In preparation for it Eliot painfully put some of his most promising subjects 
through the same process of " relation," " confession," and revealing of pri- 
vate religious " experience " which was required of members of his own 


parish as a requisite to full church communion. A half dozen of these 
" exercises " he translated, wrote down, and submitted to his clerical breth- 
ren. Further " exercises " of the sort were called forth on a solemn Fast 
Day at Natick, Oct. 16, 1652. Still more " confessions " were heard at a 
great meeting of the Commissioners of the United Colonies at Roxbury in 
July 1654. Eliot said of some of his subjects, "We know y e profession of 
very many of them is but a meere paint, and their best graces nothing 
but meere flashes and pangs." " My desire is to be true to Christ, to their 
soules, and to y e churches." The listening to the confessions and to their 
interpretation was very tedious. " The work was long-som considering y c 
inlargement of spirit God gave some of them." Some of the English visi- 
tors "whispered and went out." Further delays occurred, and it was not 
till 1660 that a church of natives after the Puritan pattern was instituted at 

The marvellous accomplishment in Eliot's missionary work, the trans- 
lation of the entire Scriptures into the Indian tongue, so far from having 
been in his view when he began his labors, had been by him then regarded 
and pronounced an impossible task. The utmost he had hoped for was the 
translation of some parts of the Bible and of a few simple manuals. It is 
to be remembered that other conditions in his circumstances disabled him 
from the singleness of devotion enjoyed by a Jesuit priest. He was depend- 
ent for his support of himself and a family mainly on his salary as a hard-work- 
ing pastor in his own church. Besides a wife and a daughter, he had five sons, 
all of whom he trained for Harvard College. One of these died in his course ; 
the other four became preachers. Grammars and dictionaries of some of 
the native languages had been published in Spanish America a century be- 
fore Eliot began his labors. The English society cautioned him against 
putting any Scripture into print until he felt sure of his mastery of the In- 
dian tongue. A reviewer of Eliot's linguistic labors cannot repress the wish 
that he might have had the benefit and used the facilities of the modern art 
of phonography. It was found that while many of the English teachers 
spoke in Indian with great facility, in writing sentences of it they would use 
much diversity in the spelling and in the number of letters, and especially of 
consonants, guided, as they were, simply by the sound as they caught the 
gutturals and grunts of the natives. Thus on pages of the same book we 
find the two words ankooks and oliktikes, as the name of an Indian stone 
kettle. Cotton Mather thought that some Indian words had been lengthen- 
ing themselves out ever since the confusion of tongues at Babel. To us it 
seems as if an Indian root-word started little and compact, like one of their 
own pappooses, and then grew at either extremity, thickened in the middle, 
extended in shape and proportion in each limb, member, and feature, and 
was completed with a feathered head-knot. We might copy here some of 
their words, each of more than forty letters. The Jesuit Biard, in Acadia, 
says he was satisfied with translating into Indian, " y e Lord's Prayer, y e 
Salutation of y e Virgin, y- Commandments of God and of y c Church, 


with a short explanation of y e Sacraments, and some Prayers, for this is all 
y 6 Theology they need." But Eliot, true to the Puritan idea that the Bible 
ought to be to all Christians what the " Church " is to the Romanists, finally 
essayed a complete translation of both Testaments. So the patriarchal his- 
tory, the wars in Canaan, the Levitical institution, the Tabernacle and Tem- 
ple worship, the genealogical tables of Kings and Chronicles, and the 
technical arguments of the Epistles took their equal places with the Psalms 
of penitence and aspiration and of the sweet Benedictions and Parables of 
Christ. Eliot also made Indian catechisms and primers and a few devo- 
tional tracts, and put some psalms into Indian in metre. The restored 
King renewed the charter of the Parliamentary Corporation in aid of the 
Indian work which furnished type, paper, printer, and funds for the publica- 
tion of the Indian Bible. The New Testament appeared Sept. 5, 1661, the 
Old in 1663, and a copy, with a somewhat fulsome dedication, was richly 
bound and sent to Charles II. as the first European sovereign who ever 
received such a work with such " a superlative lustre " upon it from his sub- 
jects. As the book will be the appropriate matter for treatment in another 
place in this Memorial History, nothing more need be said about it here. 1 
It has now, in the score or more of copies of it which alone are extant, 
held at lofty valuations, but little other use than as the sight of it yields a 
sacramental power as a monument of holy and must we say of wasted? 
toil. The reader may recall with quite other reflections the beautiful pas- 
sage in Hallam, as he notices the publication of the Latin or Mazarin Bible, 
" the earliest printed book, properly so called " : " We may see in imagina- 
tion this venerable and splendid volume leading up the crowded myriads of 
its followers, and imploring, as it were, a blessing on the new art, by dedicat- 
ing its first fruits to the service of Heaven." 2 

What would have been the later working and the continuous and final 
results of the experiment tried among the Massachusetts Indians, had it 
been left to a peaceful development, is certainly a question of interest. It 
would find different answers according to the hopefulness or the distrust 
and misgivings which any one might bring to its consideration from his 
views of what has been or what might be the result of similar experiments. 
It is for us only to recognize the deplorable and disheartening catastrophe 
which brought such a grievous disappointment to Eliot and Gookin, with 
such bitter miseries on the " Praying Indians." That catastrophe was the 
outbreak of Philip's war, regarded by the whites as a conspiracy designed 
for, and at one interval darkly threatening, the utter extermination of the 
English settlements in New England. 

The outbreak occurred when about thirty years had passed in the 
trial of Eliot's fond experiment. There were then in the colony seven tol- 
erably well-established villages of more or less civilized and Christianized 

1 [See the chapter by Dr. Trumbull on " The instruction in part of Job Nesutan, an Indian 
Indian Tongue and its Literature." Eliot is servant in his household. ED.] 
said to have learned the language under the 2 Literature of Europe, \. 211. 


natives, and seven others in a crude state working toward that condition. 
The majority of the residents in the former of these villages had in the main 
abandoned a vagabond life, and were trying to subsist on the produce of the 
soil, on simple handicraft, and on wages paid them for labor by the whites, 
with occasional hunting and fishing. These more advanced villages had 
their forts, their outlying fields, fenced or walled, their more cleanly and 
decent cabins, their native mechanics, teachers, petty magistrates, and 
preachers, with schools and meeting-houses. Fruit-trees and growing crops 
gave a show of thrift and culture to the scenes. The subjects of all this care 
were, however, jealously watched and restrained in ways often irritating to 
them. There were rogues, pilferers, and nuisances among them. Doubtless 
they committed much mischief, and were suspected of some of which they 
were innocent. The old feeling of distrust, antipathy, and opposition to the 
experiment still lingered and perhaps was even strengthened among many 
of the English, who regarded the so-called " Praying Indians " as more of a 
nuisance than were those in a state of Nature, as in fact mere hankerers 
for the " loaves and fishes," hypocrites, weaklings, shiftless and dependent 
paupers. Gookin's hopeful narrative of success could not have been long 
circulated in England before he was compelled, in 1677, to write a despond- 
ing one, which, remaining in obscurity in private hands for more than a cen- 
tury and a half, was only put in print as an antiquarian document in I836. 1 
Even at this day that later narrative will draw from the reader a pang of 
profound sympathy with the heart-agony of the writer of it. The gentle, 
earnest truthfulness, the sweet forbearance, the passionless tone, and the 
minute and well-authenticated matter of the record give to it a touching 
pathos and power. The substance of it is a rehearsal of the jealousies, 
apprehensions, and severe measures on the part of the authorities of Massa- 
chusetts in their dealing with the " Praying Indians " during the horrors, bar- 
barities, massacres, and burnings of the war instigated by the sachem of the 
Narragansetts with his red allies. Gookin and Eliot, perhaps over confident- 
ly, were persuaded that the Indians under their charge, in numbers, fidelity, 
and constancy, might have been most effective allies of the whites in the 
war, and that their settlements would be a wall of defence. But from the 
outbreak of that, havoc of burning, pillage, and carnage, a panic-horror of 
dismay and awful apprehension seized many of the whites that the darkest 
treachery was working in the Indian towns among the viperous reptiles whom 
a weak sentimentality had warmed into life. Rumors filled the laden and 
melancholy air. A few certified occurrences there were which sufficed to 
warrant the darkest apprehensions. Tribes heretofore hostile to each other 

1 [Daniel Gookin, in 1674, planned a history and Sufferings of the Christian Indians of New 

of New England, of which only the second vol- England," a manuscript written in 1677 and 

ume, " Hist. Coll. of the Indians in New Eng- dedicated to Robert Boyle, is printed in the 

land," is preserved and printed in I Mass. Artlucologia Americana, ii. 423-564. A synopsis 

Hist. Coll. i., and of this, chapter v. is given to of Gookin's historical writings is given in the 

the conversion of the natives of Massachusetts. N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., October, 1859 

Cf. N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg., October, 1859, There is a Gookin genealogy in the N. E. Hist. 

p. 347. His " Historical Account of the Doings and Geneal. Reg., 1847. ED.] 


and harmless to the English were drawn into Philip's league. Just enough 
of cases of treachery occurred to confirm the panic-frenzy about the 
" nourishing of vipers." A few Indians slipped away from the towns, and 
were charged with burning barns and outbuildings, when possibly this was the 
work of malignant strollers, of whom there were enough in the woods. In 
no single instance, however, was a criminal act proved against any Indian 
that had had the confidence of Eliot or Gookin. Still, some of the natives 
under training, disgusted by restraint, or maddened by the jealousy and hate 
felt towards them, did leave the settlements ; and in the histories of some of 
our towns, published in recent years, we find antiquarian mention of one or 
more Natick, Grafton, or Marlborough Indians as seen among the files or 
ambushed parties of " the wily and hellish foe." 

There was no reasoning with the people under this panic. Eliot and 
Gookin became victims of dark animosity among the people, the life 
of the latter being threatened in the streets because he pleaded so be- 
seechingly for confidence and mercy to his wards. Doubtless there would 
have been a popular rising if the Indians had been left in their towns. 1 
The magistrates, to protect both parties, decided at first that the Indians 
should be moved from their distant settlements, and brought chiefly 
near the seaboard, to Cambridge plains, Dorchester Neck, and Noddle's 
Island, and some to Concord and Mendon. This proposition only exasper- 
ated the residents in those towns, as it would but bring the dreaded scourge 
nearer. Finally it was decided to move the Indians from Natick, while 
their crops were ungathered, to Deer Island, then covered with forest trees 
and used for the grazing of sheep. A sad scene was presented in the autumn 
of 1675 at the site of the United States Arsenal, on Charles river, then 
called "The Pines." The Natick Indians, who had been temporarily brought 
there on foot, by horses and carts for the sick and lame, after a comforting 
prayer by Eliot, were, by the serving tide at midnight on October 3Oth, 
shipped in three vessels for the Island, Eliot wrote, " patiently, humbly, 
and piously, without murmuring or complaining against y e English." They 
had a forlorn winter on the Island, which was bleak and cold and shelterless. 
Some of their corn was taken to them, " a boat and man was appointed to 
look after them." Their subsistence was largely from shell-fish. In the 
dire extremity of the continued war by Philip the English were finally in- 
duced to avail themselves of the service of a few of the " Praying Indians," 
for whose fidelity and constancy Eliot pledged himself. Indians again were 
used against Indians by the whites. The substitutes and allies, by their skill 
in forest strategy, proved of utmost use in the emergency. They stood nobly 
for their dubious benefactors, and some of them won special praise and 
rewards. They stripped and painted themselves, became Indians again 
like the enemy, tracked them to their lairs, brought home such captives 
as had not been massacred ; and so far as they were traitors it was to 
their own race. Gookin says that these red allies killed at least 400 of the 

1 [Cf. Dr. Hale's section on "Boston in Philip's War." ED.] 
VOL. I. 35. 


enemy, " turning y e balance to y e English side, so that y* enemy went down 
y* wind amain." 

The poor exiles from Natick were returned there in May, 1678. It was 
estimated at the time that about a fourth part of all the Indians in New 
England those of Massachusetts being 3000 of that quarter had been 
more or less influenced by civilization and Christianity ; and that had these 
been in full league with Philip, the whites would have been exterminated. 
After the war the stated places for Indian church settlements were reduced 
to four, while there were other temporary stations. There were ten stations 
in Plymouth Colony, the same number in the Vineyard, and five in Nantuck- 
et. President Mather, writing in 1687, said there were in New England six 
regular churches of baptized Indians, and eighteen assemblies of catechu- 
mens, twenty-four Indian preachers, and four English ministers who preached 
in Indian. A committee to visit Natick in 1698 reported a church there of 
seven men and three women (Indians), a native minister ordained by Eliot, 
59 native men, 51 women, and 70 children. Up to 1733 all the town officers 
were Indians. The place was incorporated as an English town in 1762. In 
1792 there was in it but a single Indian family. At a local celebration there 
in 1846, the two-hundredth anniversary of Eliot's first service, a girl of six- 
teen was the only known native descendant. A copy of Eliot's Indian 
Bible, obtained from the library of the Hon. John Pickering for the purpose, 
was then deposited among the town records. 

No laments could deepen the melancholy in which this story finds its 
close. To moralize over it would be to open an inexhaustible theme. 
There were places in this State where feeble remnants of partially civilized 
natives remained a little longer than at Natick. But the longer they sur- 
vived the more forlorn was the spectacle they presented, as poor pension- 
ers and vagabonds, the virility of their native nobleness in the wild woods 
crushed in abject abasement before the white man, their veins mixed with 
African rather than with English blood. Humiliated, taciturn, retrospec- 
tive, and with no longer heritage, name, or progeny, they preached more 
suggestive and impressive sermons than were ever preached to them. Yet, 
as if in memorial of motives or compunctions which those who have driven 
them from the soil once felt towards them, there are now vested charitable 
funds held for the benefit of those who are not here to receive it. 

" Alas ! for them, their day is o'er, 
Their fires are out from shore to shore ; 
No more for them the wild deer bounds, 
The plough is on their hunting grounds ; 
The pale man's axe rings through their woods, 
The pale man's sail skims o'er their floods, 
Their pleasant springs are dry." ' 

1 From Charles Sprague's Centennial Ode, 1830. 



Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

FROM her fortunate position at the head of the bay, and from her 
comparatively large population and wealth, Boston was brought into 
more intimate relations with the neighboring English, French, and Dutch 
colonies than were sustained by any other Massachusetts town. But these 
relations arose mainly from the circumstance that the people of the town 
were led to engage in trade with the other colonies, partly by the ne- 
cessity of supplying the various wants of a growing community, and 
partly by the thrifty habits of the first settlers. With the Indians Boston 
seldom came into direct contact ; and only once were there serious fears of 
an attack from them. This was in August, 1632, not quite two years after 
the settlement of the town, when "notice being given of ten sagamores and 
many Indians assembled at Muddy River," says Winthrop, "the governor 
sent Captain Underhill with twenty musketeers to discover, &c. ; but at 
Roxbury they heard they were broke up." 1 While towns not more than 
twenty or thirty miles distant were the scenes of frequent alarms, Boston 
was happily preserved from the Indian torch and tomahawk. There was 
a limited trade with the Indians, but from the comparatively small number 
of them living near Boston it could never have been of much value to the 
town. The extensive maritime trade which sprang up at an early date had 
its origin, however, in a voyage to the Indian country. Only a few weeks 
after the naming of the town a vessel was sent south to buy corn. "About 
the end of October, this year, 1630, I joined with the governor and Mr. 
Maverick," says Dudley, in his letter to the Countess of Lincoln, "in 
sending out our pinnace to the Narragansetts, to trade for corn to supply 
our wants ; but after the pinnace had doubled Cape Cod, she put into the 
next harbor she found, and there meeting with Indians, who showed their 
willingness to truck, she made her voyage there, and brought us a hundred 
bushels of corn, at about four shillings a bushel, which helped us some- 
what." 2 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, i. 88. 

2 Young, Chronicles of Mass., pp. 322, 323; I Mass. Hist. Coll., viii. 42. 


This expedition was more fortunate than that of the Salem people in the 
following year. In September, 1631, the Salem pinnace was sent out on 
a similar errand, but was driven by head winds into Plymouth harbor, 
"where," says Winthrop, "the governor, &c., fell out with them, not only 
forbidding them to trade, but also telling them they would oppose them by 
force, even to the spending of their lives, &c. ; whereupon they returned, 
and acquainting the governor of Massachusetts with it, he wrote to the 
governor of Plymouth this letter, here inserted with their answer, which 
came about a month after." 1 So far as is known, neither Winthrop's letter 
nor Bradford's reply has been preserved. But about the middle of Novem- 
ber, we are told, "the governor of Plymouth came to Boston, and lodged in 
the ship." 2 The purpose of this visit was, no doubt, to settle the quarrel; 
and from that time the relations of the Boston and the Plymouth people 
were almost uniformly of a friendly, and sometimes of a very intimate 
character. In September of the next year Winthrop and Wilson, pastor 
of the Boston church, went on foot from Weymouth to Plymouth, where 
they partook of the communion with the Plymouth church, and afterward 
addressed the congregation. 3 In June, 1647, Governor Bradford attended 
the synod at Cambridge as a messenger from the church of Plymouth. 4 In 
the latter part of 1646, Edward Winslow, at that time one of the Plymouth 
magistrates, was sent to England as the agent of Massachusetts to answer 
the complaints of Child and Gorton. 5 At the very close of the colonial 
period the Plymouth Court passed a vote of thanks to Increase Mather for 
his services in England, and desired Sir Henry Ashurst, who was made their 
agent, to consult with him about obtaining a charter for the colony; 6 and 
it was mainly through Mather's efforts that Massachusetts and Plymouth 
were brought under one government." These instances are sufficient to 
show how intimate were the relations of the two colonies. 

The trade between Massachusetts and Virginia, of which Boston after- 
ward had the principal share, appears to have begun with Salem. In May, 
1631, Winthrop records the arrival at Salem of "a pinnace of eighteen 
tons, laden with corn and tobacco. She was bound to the north, and put 
in there by foul weather. She sold her corn at ten shillings the bushel."' 
It was probably some irregularity in the sale of this cargo which induced 
the General Court, at its next session, to order "that no person whatsoever 
shall buy corn or any other provision or merchantable commodity of any 
ship or bark that comes into this bay, without leave from the governor or 
some other of the assistants." 9 In the beginning of 1632 a bark arrived 
here from Virginia, having been to the northern settlements and to Salem 
to sell corn. She remained in the harbor for nearly a month, when she 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, i. 60. 6 Plymouth Col. Records, vi. 259, 260. 

2 Ibid. p. 67. 7 Hutchinson, Hist, of the Col. of Mass. Bay, 
8 Ibid. pp. 91, 92. pp. 405-407. 

* Ibid. ii. 308. 8 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, \. 56. 

5 Mass. Col. Records, ii. 162 ; Winthrop, Hist. 9 Mass. Col. Records, i. 88. 

of New England, ii. 298, 299. 


sailed again for Virginia, with Mr. Maverick's pinnace. 1 Not long afterward 
Captain Peirce arrived from England in the ship " Lion," and after discharg- 
ing his cargo and leaving his passengers, some of whom became prominent 
among the leading men in the Connecticut colony, he sailed for Virginia. 
In less than a week from the time of sailing his vessel was wrecked at the 
mouth of Chesapeake Bay, to the serious loss of Boston and Plymouth. 
"Plymouth men," says Winthrop, "lost four hogsheads, nine hundred 
pounds of beaver, and two hundred otter skins. The governor of Massa- 
chusetts lost, in beaver and fish, which he sent to Virginia, &c., near ^100. 
Many others lost beaver, and Mr. Humfrey, fish." 2 In the spring or sum- 
mer of 1644, after the great Indian massacre of that year, a considerable 
number of persons emigrated from Virginia to Massachusetts. The most 
conspicuous man among them was Captain Daniel Gookin, a name which 
will always be remembered in connection with the Christian Indians, of 
whom he was a steadfast friend. He is supposed to have arrived in Boston 
on the 2Oth of May, was made a freeman only nine days later, and was 
the last major-general in the colonial period. 3 

In May, 1642, about seventy persons in Virginia wrote to Boston, 
"bewailing their sad condition for want of the means of salvation, and 
earnestly entreating a supply of faithful ministers, whom, upon experience 
of their gifts and godliness, they might call to office." These letters were 
publicly read at the Thursday lecture; and subsequently it was agreed 
that the ministers who could be spared best were Mr. Phillips, of Water- 
town, Mr. Tompson, of Braintree, and Mr. Miller, of Rowley, as each of 
these churches had two ministers. Various difficulties, however, arose, but 
finally Mr. Knowles, of Watertown, and Mr. Tompson, agreed to go, and in 
October they left for their new home, intending to embark at Narragan- 
sett. 4 Here they were wind-bound for several weeks, but in the mean time 
they were joined by another minister, Mr. James, of New Haven; and 
after a long and perilous winter voyage they reached Virginia in safety. 
"There," says Winthrop, "they found very loving and liberal entertainment, 
and were bestowed in several places, not by the governor, but by some well- 
disposed people who desired their company." They were soon silenced, 
however, by the Virginia authorities, because they would not conform to the 
Church of England, and were ordered to leave the colony. They reached 
home in the summer of i643- 5 Puritanism could not thrive in Virginia 
under the shadow of Sir William Berkeley's administration. 

With North Carolina also Boston had early and intimate relations. 
Thirty years after the settlement of the town, just as the first generation 
had passed away, a party of emigrants, desirous, perhaps, of finding a more 
genial climate, 6 established themselves at the mouth of Cape Fear River. 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, i. 72. * Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 78. 

2 Ibid. p. 102. 6 Ibid. p. 96; Hubbard, Hist, of New Eng- 

3 Ibid. ii. 165, and Mr. Savage's note. [See land, in 2 Mass Hist. Coll., vi. 411. 

Dr. Ellis's chapter on "The Indians of Eastern [Savage, Winthrop's New England, \. 118, 
Massachusetts." ED.] has a note on the changes of climate. ED.J 


The enterprise met with little success, and in May, 1667, the General Court 
passed an order for the relief of the unfortunate settlement. "Upon the 
perusal of a letter sent from Mr. John Vassall, and the people with him at 
Cape Fear," the order recites, "directed to Major-General John Leverett, 
desiring that they may have some relief in their distress, and having infor- 
mation that the honored governor, deputy-governor, and some others of our 
honored magistrates encouraged a contribution for the relief of those peo- 
ple, the which contribution hath been made in many places, and hath been 
committed to the care of Mr. Peter Oliver and John Bateman, of Boston," 
the Court ordered the said Mr. Peter Oliver and John Bateman to carry on 
the contributions, empowering them to receive the same ; and further order- 
ing them " to keep exact accounts of their receipts and disbursements, that 
they may render the same when they are called thereto by this Court." 1 
This was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, of the contributions by 
which Boston and Massachusetts have afforded relief to other communities 
in times of sickness, famine, or disaster. 

In spite of the extreme aversion with which the settlers of Massachusetts 
regarded the Romish Church, there was some friendly intercourse with 
Maryland. In August, 1634, Winthrop records the arrival at Boston of a 
pinnace of about fifty tons " from Maryland upon Potomac River, with corn 
to exchange for fish and other commodities. The governor, Leonard Cal- 
vert, and two of the commissioners, wrote to the governor here, to make 
offer of trade of corn, etc., and the governor of Virginia wrote also on their 
behalf, and one Captain Young wrote to make offer to deliver cattle here. 
Near all their company came sick hither, and the merchant died within one 
week after." 2 At a still later period, in July, 1642, there was another arri- 
val at Boston on a similar errand. "From Maryland," says Winthrop, 
"came one Mr. Neale with two pinnaces and commission from Mr. Calvert, 
the governor there, to buy mares and sheep, but having nothing to pay for 
them but bills charged upon the Lord Baltimore, in England, no man would 
deal with him. One of his vessels was so eaten with worms that he was 
forced to leave her." 3 Even more suggestive is a record which appears 
in October of the following year: "The Lord Baltimore being owner of 
much land near Virginia, being himself a Papist, and his brother, Mr. Cal- 
vert, the governor there, a Papist also, but the colony consisted both of 
Protestants and Papists, he wrote a letter to Captain Gibbons of Boston, and 
sent him a commission, wherein he made tender of land in Maryland, to 
any of ours that would transport themselves thither, with free liberty of 
religion, and all other privileges which the place afforded, paying such 
annual rent as should be agreed upon ; but our captain had no mind to 
further his desire herein, nor had any of our people temptation that way." 4 
It would have been strange, indeed, if our Puritan ancestors could have 
so far overcome their aversion to Romanism as to leave a Puritan colony in 

1 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 337. 8 Ibid. ii. 72. 

2 Wiiilhrop, Hist, of New England, \. 139. 4 Ibid. pp. 148, 149. 


order to seek new homes in a colony founded and governed by Catholics. 
In spite of the ungenial climate and sterile soil of New England, there does 
not seem to have been much disposition among the first settlers to forsake 
Massachusetts for more attractive places. The removals from Cambridge 
and Dorchester to Connecticut are scarcely an exception to this statement; 
and the number who went to the West Indies, to Long Island, or back to 
England, after the triumph of Puritanism there, was not large. 

Massachusetts had relations with the Swedes on the Delaware River at 
an early date, but an account of these relations belongs to the annals of the 
New England Confederacy rather than to the history of Boston. 1 So early 
as 1641 New Haven had established a trading-house there, near the Swed- 
ish fort, by the governor of which the New Haven people were badly 
treated. They made complaint to the Commissioners of the United Colo- 
nies, who wrote a letter to the Swedish governor, and sent an agent to treat 
with him for redress of grievances. 2 Subsequently " the Swedes denied 
what they had been charged with," says Winthrop, " and sent copies of 
divers examinations upon oath taken in the cause, with a copy of all the 
proceedings between them and our friends of New Haven from the first; 
and in their letters used large expressions of their respect to the English, 
and particularly to our colony." 3 Early in 1644 a pinnace was sent from 
Boston to the Delaware to trade; but the voyage proved unsuccessful, 
partly through the refusal of the Dutch and Swedish governors to allow 
them to trade with the Indians, and partly through the drunkenness of the 
master. On the return of the pinnace the adventurers brought an action 
against the master, both for his drunkenness, and for not proceeding with 
the voyage as he was required to do by his charter. They recovered two 
hundred pounds from him, "which was too much," says Winthrop, "though 
he did deal badly with them, for it was very probable they could not have 
proceeded." 4 In the autumn a bark was sent from Boston, with seven men, 
for the same purpose. They remained near the English settlement all win- 
ter, and in the spring fell down the river to trade. In this they were so 
successful that in three weeks they had obtained five hundred fur-skins 
and other merchandise, when they were suddenly attacked by the Indians, 
who killed the master and three men, plundered the vessel, and carried away 
another man and a boy. Finally, the survivors were recovered by the Swed- 
ish governor, who sent them to New Haven. From that place they were 
brought to Boston. 5 

With the Dutch at New York there were various relations of trade and 
hostility. So early as September, 1642, the former had become so large 
that the General Court found it necessary to pass an order determining the 
value of Dutch coins ; and they accordingly, "considering the oft occasions 
we have of trading with the Hollanders at the Dutch plantation, and other 

1 [Cf. Frederic Kidder's paper on the Swedes 2 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, u. 140; 

on the Delaware, and their intercourse with New Plymouth Col. Records, ix. 13. 
England, in N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Reg , Jan- 8 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, \\. 157. 

uary, 1874, p. 42. ED.] * Ibid. p. 187. 6 Ibid. pp. 203, 204. 


wise," ordered "that the Holland ducatour, worth three guilders, shall be 
current at six shillings in all payments within our jurisdiction, and the rix 
dollar, being two and one half guilders, shall be likewise current at five 
shillings, and the real of eight shall be also current at five shillings." l At a 
still earlier period, in August, 1634, we have Winthrop's testimony as to the 
extent and character of this trade. "Our neighbors of Plymouth, and we, 
had oft trade with the Dutch at Hudson's River, called by them New 
Netherlands," he writes. "We had from them about forty sheep, and 
beaver, and brass pieces, and sugar, &c., for sack, strong waters, linen 
cloth, and other commodities. They have a great trade of beaver, about 
nine or ten thousand skins in a year." 2 In May, 1653, during the war 
between England and Holland, the General Court passed an order pro- 
hibiting all persons within their jurisdiction "from carrying provisions, as 
corn, beef, pease, bread, or pork, &c., into any of the plantations of Dutch 
or French inhabiting in any of the parts of America," under penalty of a 
fine of three times the value of the provisions carried in violation of the 
order. 3 This prohibition remained in force until August, 1654, when the 
Court ordered that "the law made in May, 1653, prohibiting trade with 
the Dutch, be henceforth repealed." 4 

When the Royal Commissioners sent over by Charles II. in the summer 
of 1664 visited Boston, one of the questions submitted to the General 
Court was whether the Colony would send any men to assist in the expedi- 
tion against the Dutch of New Netherlands. This question having been 
decided in the affirmative, the Court, at the special session, August 3, 
ordered that there should be "voluntary soldiers raised in this jurisdiction 
for his Majesty's service against the Dutch, not exceeding the number of 
two hundred, to be ready to march by the 2Oth of this instant." 5 Accord- 
ingly officers were selected for "such forces as shall be raised in this juris- 
diction," and a committee was appointed to see if Mr. Graves would "dis- 
pense the word of God to such as are intended for this expedition." The 
volunteers were also to be allowed "an able chirurgeon, such as they can 
get, furnished with all things necessary for such service." 6 Whether any 
volunteers actually enlisted in Boston under these and the other orders 
passed at the same time does not appear ; but the Royal Commissioners, 
when they left Boston, were accompanied by representatives from Massa- 
chusetts, and the Dutch did not venture to resist the force which shortly 
afterward appeared before the little fort on Manhattan Island. The Dutch 
settlements came under English control ; and at a somewhat later period 
Boston and New York had the same governor. 

Both the colony of New Haven and the colony of Connecticut were set- 
tled in part from Massachusetts, and their relations with Boston were 
always more or less intimate ; but these relations, on one occasion, at least, 

1 Mass. Col. Records, ii. 29. 4 Ibid. p. 197. 

2 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, i. 138. 5 Ibid. vol. iv. pt. ii. p. 120. 

3 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. pp. 120, 6 Ibid. p. 121. [See Mr. Deane's chapter in 
121. the present volume. ED.] 


were subject to colonial regulations which operated to the disadvantage of 
Boston, though for the general interest of the colony. In May, 1649, the 
General Court established retaliatory duties on "all goods belonging or 
appertaining to any inhabitant of the jurisdictions of Plymouth, Connecti- 
cut, or New Haven," imported into Boston or exported from any part of the 
bay. 1 The occasion of the passage of this order was the approval by the 
Commissioners of the United Colonies of a duty on all corn or beaver skins 
belonging to the inhabitants of Springfield, which should pass the mouth 
of the Connecticut River. This duty was to be applied to the upholding of 
the fort at Saybrook, and not to be "continued longer than the fort in ques- 
tion is maintained, and the passage as at present thereby secured." 2 Massa- 
chusetts, not unreasonably, objected that the fort was of little or no use for 
the purpose intended, and that the duty was continued after the fort was 
burned down. 3 The passage of the retaliatory order must, however, have 
seriously affected the trade of Boston; and at the session in May, 1650, in 
answer to a petition from the inhabitants of Boston for its repeal, the Court 
passed an order setting forth that "the Court (being credibly informed that 
the Court at Connecticut will, for the present, suspend the taking of any 
custom of us, and at their next General Court intend to repeal their order 
that requires it) do hereby order the suspension of that law of ours that 
requires any custom of the other confederate colonies until they shall know 
that Connecticut do take custom of us." 4 

This was the only instance in which Massachusetts levied retaliatory 
duties on trade with the other English colonies, and it is the only instance 
in which Boston appears to have made special complaint. There were, 
indeed, numerous colonial regulations affecting trade; but they were almost 
without exception based on obvious reasons of expediency, or concerned 
the other towns in the colony quite as much as they did Boston. For in- 
stance, in March, 1634-35, the Court passed an order forbidding any person 
to go on board of any ship, without leave of one of the Assistants, until she 
had lain at anchor at Nantasket, or within some inhabited harbor, for twenty- 
four hours, under penalty of "confiscation of all his estate, and such further 
punishment as the Court shall think meet to inflict." 5 At the same session 
it was ordered "that no person whatsoever, either people of this jurisdiction 
or strangers, shall buy any commodity of any ship or other vessel that comes 
into this jurisdiction without license from the governor for the time being, 
under the penalty of confiscation of such goods as shall be so bought, or the 
value of them." 6 The first of these orders was repealed in the following 
September; 7 and the other in May, i636. 8 In November, 1655, the General 

1 Mass. Col. Records, ii. 269. become the minister of the First Church; but 

2 Plymouth Col. Records, ix. 93. the account of that important controversy be- 
8 Ibid. pp. 90, 133. longs to another chapter of this history. [See 
* Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 11. It Mr. Foote's chapter. ED.] 

should not be forgotten that the formation of 5 Mass. Col. Records, i. 136. 

the third church in Boston, known to us as the 6 Ibid. p. 141. 

Old South, was owing to the invitation extended ? Ibid. pp. 159, 160. 

to the Rev. John Davenport of New Haven to 8 Ibid. p. 174. 
VOL. I. 36. 


Court, taking into " serious consideration the great necessity of upholding 
the staple commodities of this country for the supply and support of the 
inhabitants thereof," absolutely prohibited the importation of malt, wheat, 
barley, biscuit, beef, meal, and flour into the colony from any part of 
Europe, under penalty of confiscation. 1 

From the circumstances under which Rhode Island was settled, and the 
distrust with which that colony was regarded by her neighbors, Boston had 
much less intercourse with the inhabitants of that jurisdiction than with the 
other colonies ; but an account of the relations of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island does not properly fall within the scope of this chapter. 2 Roger Wil- 
liams was a resident of Salem when he had leave to depart out of this juris- 
diction ; and the dealings with Gorton's followers, which have been made 
the ground for much reproach, were in exact conformity with the orders of 
the colonial authorities or of the Commissioners of the United Colonies. 
With the settlements in New Hampshire and Maine Boston had more fre- 
quent relations; and it was to New Hampshire that Wheelwright and many 
of his followers betook themselves when they also had license to remove 
themselves and their families out of Massachusetts. But both New Hamp- 
shire and Maine were, during a part of the colonial period, under the juris- 
diction of Massachusetts ; and everything relating to them belongs to the 
history of the colony rather than to the history of the town. 

With the French colonies Boston had so frequent and various relations 
that the whole colony came to be known as the colony of Boston, or Bas- 
ton, as the name was commonly written ; 3 and the inhabitants of Massa- 
chusetts, and even of the other colonies, were designated as Boston men, or 
" Bostonnais." Schemes for its capture more than once formed part of the 
ambitious designs of the French chiefs at Quebec. 4 It was probably to 
these, schemes that we owe at least two of the most interesting of the early 
maps of Boston. 5 

Indeed, the relations of Boston and of Massachusetts to the quarrels of 
two rival French governors of Acadia (La Tour and D'Aulnay) form one of 
the most curious and interesting episodes in the early history of the town and 
of the colony. 6 The questions growing out of the rivalry of these ambitious 
and unscrupulous men fill a large space in our colonial annals; but, as they 
are questions which originated in the desire of the Boston merchants to 
increase the foreign trade of the town, they may very properly be treated 

1 Mass. Col. Records, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 246. 4 Parkman, France and England in North 

- It is worthy of remark, however, that in America, pt. v. pp. 382-384. 

the Winthrop Papers, in 4 Mass. Hist. Coll., & Franquelin's map of 1693, of which a helio- 

vol. vi., there are thirty-nine friendly letters type reproduction has recently been prepared 

from Roger Williams to the elder Winthrop, for the Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 

written after Williams settled at Providence. and his map of 1697, both of which are repro- 

8 [This form, Baston, simply preserved the duced in this volume. 

broad French sound (Bawston) as their equiva- ' 3 The names of these rivals are variously 

lent of the colloquial English pronunciation, written in the contemporaneous documents. 

The Canadians towards the Pacific coast and Winthrop frequently wrote D'Aulney; but the 

the Indians of that region call Americans Bos- weight of authority is in favor of the spelling 

tons to this day. ED.] here adopted. 


here at some length. In the discussion of them, party lines were for the 
first time drawn between town and country. The course which the colonial 
government followed was in accordance with the wishes and with the appro- 
val of the people of Boston, while the remonstrances came from Ipswich 
and Salem and other places which could expect to derive little benefit from 
an increased trade with the French colonies. " I must needs say that I fear 
we shall have little comfort in having anything to do with these idolatrous 
French," Endicott wrote to Winthrop, in June, 1643. 1 ^ n saying this, he 
only expressed an opinion very generally entertained away from Boston. 
Here the drift of opinion was naturally in the opposite direction. 

By the treaty of St. Germains, concluded between France and England 
March 29, 1632, the whole of the French territory in America which had 
been conquered by England was restored to the former country; and shortly 
afterward the Chevalier Rasilli was appointed by the King of France to the 
chief command in Acadia. The new governor designated as his lieutenants 
Charles de la Tour for the portion east of the St. Croix, and Charles de 
Menou, Sieur d'Aulnay-Charnise, for the portion to the westward as far as 
the French claim extended. 2 The latter is said to have been " a zealous and 
efficient supporter of the Romish Church;" 3 but "La Tour pretended to be 
a Huguenot, or at least to think favorably of that religion." 4 A belief that 
La Tour sympathized with their religious opinions no doubt had weight 
with the colonial authorities in determining the policy to be pursued with 
regard to the rivals ; but it seems more than probable that he cared very 
little about what he professed to believe. He was so cautious, or so indiffer- 
ent to political obligations, that he obtained grants from Sir William Alex- 
ander, who derived his title from James I., and also from the French gov- 
ernment. 5 The first appearance of either of the rivals in our history is in 
November or December, 1633, when Winthrop writes that news came of 
the taking of Machias by the French : " Mr. Allerton, of Plymouth, and 
some others had set up a trading wigwam there, and left in it five men and 
store of commodities. La Tour, governor of the French in those parts, 
making claim to the place, came to displant them, and, finding resistance, 
killed two of the men and carried away the other three and the goods." 6 
The first appearance of the name of D'Aulnay, nearly two years later, is 
accompanied by equally unpleasant circumstances. In the summer of 1635 
he seized the Plymouth trading-house at Penobscot, and sent the traders 
home with many fair promises, but without making payment for the prop- 
erty he had taken. This greatly excited the Plymouth colony, " so as 
they resolved to consult with their friends in the bay," says Bradford; "and, 
if they approved of it (there being now many ships there), they intended to 

1 Hutchinson, Coll. of Original Papers, 113. 6 ITutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, p. 127. 

2 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mast. Bay, p. 128. See also Slafter's Sir William Alexander and 
8 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vii. 90. American Colonization, pp. 73-80. 

4 Hutchinson, Hist, of Mass. Bay, p. 132. See 6 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, \. 117. 

also a letter from John Winthrop, Jr., in 4 Mass. See also Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, in 4 
Hist. Coll., vi. 519. Mass. Hist. Coll., iii. 292. 


hire a ship of force, and seek to beat out the French, and recover it again." l 
The Massachusetts authorities sympathized cordially with the proposed 
movement, but they were unwilling to bear the cost of an expedition mainly 
designed for the benefit of Plymouth. However, at the September session 
of the General Court it was " agreed that Plymouth shall be aided with men 
and munition to supplant the French at Penobscot." 2 At the same session 
it was further agreed that the commissioners for martial discipline " shall 
have full power to assist our neighbors at Plymouth for the supplanting of 
the French at Penobscot or elsewhere, in any other business of that nature 
that maybe occasioned thereby." 3 It was probably after the passage of 
these votes that the Plymouth people entered into an agreement with one 
Girling, the master of the "Great Hope," a well-armed ship of above 
three hundred tons, " that he and his company should deliver them the 
house (after they had driven out or surprised the French), and give them 
peaceable possession thereof, and of all such trading commodities as should 
there be found, and give the French fair quarter and usage, if they would 
yield." 4 With him they sent their own bark, with twenty men under the 
command of Captain Miles Standish, to aid in the capture of the place, if 
necessary, and " to order things if the house was regained." But the expe- 
dition failed, through the incompetence or bad faith of Girling; and, upon 
its failure, a second application was made to Massachusetts. 

On receiving this new application, the Governor and Assistants re- 
quested Plymouth to send commissioners to Boston, with full authority to 
treat of the whole subject. Accordingly, Thomas Prence, who had been 
governor of the colony the year before, and Captain Standish were em- 
powered to conclude an arrangement for the further prosecution of the 
enterprise. When they met, however, says Winthrop, the Plymouth com- 
missioners " refused to deal further in it otherwise than as a common cause 
of the whole country, and so to contribute their part. We refused to deal 
in it otherwise than as in their aid, and so at their charge; for indeed we 
had then no money in the treasury, neither could we get provision of 
victuals, on the sudden, for one hundred men, which were to be em- 
ployed." 5 The expedition was accordingly abandoned ; and it does not 
appear that after that time Plymouth had any direct relations with either 
D'Aulnay or La Tour. Unfortunately, it was only the beginning of the 
relations of the Massachusetts colony with them. 

The next mention of D'Aulnay is in connection with circumstances of a 
more friendly character, though they were afterward made ground of com- 
plaint. Writing only a few weeks later, in November, 1635, Winthrop 
records that " the pinnace which Sir Richard Saltonstall sent to take pos- 
session of a great quantity of land at Connecticut was, in her return 
into England, cast away upon the Isle Sable. The men were kindly enter- 

1 4 Mass, ffist. Coll., iii. 333. 4 Bradford, Plymouth Plantation, in 4 Mass. 

2 Kfass. Col. Kecords, i. 160. Hist. Coll., iii. 333. 

8 Ibid. p. 161. * Winthrop, Hist, of New England, \. 169. 


tained by the French there, and had passage to La Have, some twenty 
leagues east of Cape Sable, where Monsieur, commander of Roselle, was 
governor, who entertained them very courteously, and furnished them with a 
shallop to return to us, and gave four of their company passage into France, 
but made them pay dear for their shallop ; and in their return they put into 
Penobscot, at such time as Girling's ship lay there ; so that they were kept 
prisoners there till the ship was gone, and then sent to us with a courteous 
letter to our governor. A little before, our governor 
had written to him (viz., Mons. D'Aulnay) to send 
them home to us, but they were come before." l In the 
letter, however, of the Governor and Council to D'Aulnay in 1643, "your 
taking of the goods of Sir Richard Saltonstall, knight, and the imprisoning 
of his men, who suffered shipwreck upon the Isle of Sables eight years 
past," are mentioned first among "the particulars wherein we conceive our- 
selves, friends, and confederates to be by you injured, and for the which we 
never yet received satisfaction." 2 

Nothing of importance seems to have occurred during the next few 
years; but in November, 1641, La Tour sent one of his people a 
Protestant from Rochelle, named Rochett to conclude a treaty of com- 
merce and alliance with the Massachusetts colony. The authorities were 
willing to grant liberty of commerce ; but they declined to furnish aid to 
La Tour in his war against D'Aulnay, or to allow him to bring goods out of 
England by our merchants, on the ground that the envoy had no proper 
credentials. 3 In the following year another embassy came, with a new re- 
quest for assistance against D'Aulnay, and remained about a week, leaving a 
very favorable impression behind them. " Though they were Papists," says 
Winthrop, " yet they came to our church meeting ; and the lieutenant seemed 
to be much affected to find things as he did, and professed he never saw so 
good order in any place. One of the elders gave him a French Testament 
with Marlorat's notes, which he kindly accepted, and promised to read it." 4 
In June, 1643, La Tour himself made a visit to Boston, in a ship from 
Rochelle, the master and crew of which were Protestants, but having as 
passengers two friars and two women sent from France to wait on Madame 
La Tour. On the arrival of the vessel a curious incident occurred, which 
gives a very vivid idea of the life of the town at that time and of its de- 
fenceless condition. The wife of Captain Gibbons, with her children, was 
going down the harbor to visit her husband's farm at Pullen Point, when 
she was recognized by one of the gentlemen on La Tour's vessel, who knew 
her. Thereupon, La Tour manned his shallop to go and speak with her. 
Mrs. Gibbons, on seeing so many foreigners approach, was alarmed, and 
hastened to land at the governor's garden, now the site of Fort Winthrop. 
Here she found the governor and his wife and two sons and his son's wife. 
Presently La Tour landed, and, after saluting the governor, told him the 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, i. 171. 3 Wihthrop, Hist of New England, ii. 42, 43. 

2 3 Mass. Hist. Coll., vii. 101. 4 Ibid. p. 88. 


cause of his coming, that this ship had been sent to him from France, but 
his old enemy, D'Aulnay, had blockaded the river at St. John's, so that she 
could not get in. He had accordingly slipped out of the river in a shallop 
by night, and had come to ask help from Massachusetts. After supper, the 
governor went up to the town in La Tour's boat, having previously sent 
Mrs. Gibbons home in his own boat. In the mean time news of the arri- 
val of a strange ship had spread through Boston and Charlestown ; and 
" the towns betook them to their arms, and three shallops with armed men 
came forth to meet the governor and to guard him home. But here the Lord 
gave us occasion to take notice of our weakness, &c.," says Winthrop ; " for 
if La Tour had been ill-minded towards <us, he had such an opportunity as 
we hope neither he nor any other shall ever have the like again ; for com- 
ing by our castle and saluting it, there was none to answer him, for the last 
Court had given order to have the Castle Island deserted, a great part of 
the work being fallen down, &c., so as he might have taken all the ord- 
nance there. Then, having the governor and his family and Captain Gib- 
bons's wife, &c., in his power, he might have gone and spoiled Boston ; and 
having so many men ready, they might have taken two ships in the harbor, 
and gone away without danger or resistance ; but his neglecting this oppor- 
tunity gave us assurance of his true meaning." 1 

On landing, La Tour was escorted by the governor and a guard to his 
lodgings at the house of Captain Gibbons. The next 
day the governor called together all the magistrates 
whom he was able to notify, to consider any proposals 
which La Tour might submit. The latter was present with the master of 
the vessel, who exhibited a commission from the Vice-Admiral of France, 
authorizing him to convey supplies to La Tour, his Majesty's Lieutenant of 
Acadia. A letter from the agent of the French company for the coloniza- 
tion of Acadia was also shown, in which La Tour was addressed as Lieu- 
tenant-General, and informed of the injurious practices of D'Aulnay. 
These documents satisfied the magistrates that La Tour was not a rebel, as 
D'Aulnay had called him in a letter to the governor the year before, and 
that he was in good standing at the court of France. The colonial authori- 
ties did not feel at liberty, however, to aid him directly, without the advice 
of the Commissioners of the United Colonies ; but they readily granted him 
permission to hire any vessels in the harbor. His men were also allowed to 
come on shore to refresh themselves, " so they landed in small companies, 
that our women, &c., might not be affrighted by them." 2 The next week, 
the training-day occurred at Boston ; and La Tour, having expressed a wish 
to exercise his men on shore, was allowed on that occasion to land forty 
men. They were escorted to the field by the Boston company, which num- 
bered one hundred and fifty men. After the exercises were over, La Tour 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of Nciv England, ii. 107. cords, as cited in Shurtleff's Dcsc. of Boston, 
[This incident prompted the authorities to re- pp. 482-84. See Mr. Bynner's chapter. ED.] 
pair the fortifications on the island. Cf. Re- 2 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 108. 


and his officers were invited home to dinner by the Boston officers, and his 
soldiers by the Boston soldiers. In the afternoon the Frenchmen went 
through a variety of military movements in the presence of the governor 
and magistrates, who were much interested in what they saw. La Tour 
remained in Boston for about a month. " Our governor and others in the 
town," says Winthrop, " entertained La Tour and his gentlemen with much 
courtesy, both in their houses and at table. La Tour came duly to our 
church meetings, and always accompanied the governor to and from thence, 
who, all the time of his abode here, was attended with a good guard of 
halberts and musketeers." l 

Meanwhile, the reports of what had been done in Boston created a lively 
excitement in the other towns of the colony ; and one minister, whose name 
has not come down to us, but who is vouched for as "judicious," when he 
heard that the strangers were to go through their military exercises on 
shore, predicted that before the day was ended much blood would be 
spilled in Boston. Letters poured in on the governor, some setting be- 
fore him " great dangers, others charging sin upon the conscience in all 
these proceedings." Accordingly, he wrote and circulated at least two 
answers to these complaints. 2 For further satisfaction, another meeting of 
the neighboring magistrates, deputies, and elders was held, at which two 
questions were discussed: "(i) Whether it were lawful for Christians to aid 
idolaters, and how far we may hold communion with them? (2) Whether it 
were safe for our state to suffer him to have aid from us against D'Aulnay? " 
The arguments on the one side and the other extend over several pages of 
Winthrop's journal, and are in a large part derived from Old Testament pre- 
cedents about Jehoshaphat and Ahab and Ahaziah and Josias, and the King 
of Babylon, and Pharaoh Necho, and Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba, and 
other precedents of a similar character, the relevancy of which is not very 
apparent. The final issue was that the line of policy previously marked out 
remained unchanged. The colony gave no direct aid to La Tour ; but he 
was allowed to make any arrangements that he could with the inhabitants of 
Boston and the masters of the vessels in the harbor. On the 1/ of July 
he left Boston, " the governor and divers of the chief of the town accom- 
panying him to his boat. There went with him four of our ships and a pin- 
nace. He hired them for two months, the chiefest, which had sixteen 
pieces of ordnance, at two hundred pounds the month (yet she was of but 
one hundred tons, but very well-manned and fitted for fight), and the rest 
proportionable. The owners took only his own security for their pay. He 
entertained also about seventy land soldiers, volunteers, at 40$. per month a 
man; but he paid them somewhat in hand." 3 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 109. and part-owners of the ship " Seabridge," ship 

2 For one of these letters see Hutchinson, " Philip and Mary," ship " Increase," and ship 
Coll. of Original Papers, pp. 121-132. "Greyhound," for this expedition, dated June 30, 

3 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 127. 1643, ' s recorded in the Suffolk Registry of 
The contract between La Tour and Captain Deeds, and is printed in Hazard's Historical Col- 
Edward Gibbons and Thomas Hawkins, masters lections, \. 499-502. 


The sudden appearance of La Tour's fleet in the eastern waters was a 
surprise to his rival, who, on seeing them, attempted to escape to the west- 
ward with two ships and a pinnace. Being closely pursued, D'Aulnay ran his 
vessels ashore, and began to fortify himself; on which a messenger was sent 
to him with letters from the governor of the Massachusetts colony and 
Captain Hawkins. The messenger was led blindfold into the presence of 
D'Aulnay, who showed him the original decree against La Tour, and sent a 
copy of it to the governor ; but he would not make peace with La Tour. The 
latter then endeavored to persuade our men to attack D'Aulnay, which they 
declined to do ; but with Hawkins's consent about thirty volunteers joined 
La Tour's men in an attack on a fortified mill belonging to his rival, which 
was taken and set on fire. Some standing corn was also burned ; one pris- 
oner was taken and carried on board the vessels, and three Frenchmen on 
each side were killed. About the same time our ships captured D'Aulnay's 
pinnace, with four hundred moose skins and four hundred beaver skins. 
These they divided, one-third and the pinnace to La Tour, one-third to 
the ships, and the remainder to the men. After this, nothing more was 
done ; and at the expiration of the time for which they were chartered the 
ships returned to Boston. The pinnace, before leaving for home, went up 
the river some twenty leagues, and loaded with coal ; and her men also 
procured a piece of limestone, possibly the first coal and limestone 
brought into Boston from that part of Nova Scotia now called New 
Brunswick. 1 

In the following summer La Tour came again to Boston to obtain further 
assistance. On hearing his statement, most of the magistrates and some of 
the elders were in favor of helping him, partly as an act of charity toward 
a neighbor in distress, and partly in the hope of weakening his rival, whom 

they regarded as an enemy, or, at least, 
a dangerous neighbor. But as three 
or four of the magistrates dissented, 
and many of the elders were absent, it was determined to have another 
meeting at Salem, at which the rest of the elders should be invited to be 
present. After much discussion, it was found to be impossible to obtain a 
full consent to the taking of active measures in behalf of La Tour; but all 
agreed that a warning should be sent to D'Aulnay. 2 Accordingly a letter 
was drawn up, setting forth that an application had been made to the Gov- 
ernor and Council by La Tour for assistance of men and ammunition, which 
had given them occasion to consider what were their own relations with him, 
and to take notice of the many injuries already suffered from him, and espe- 
cially of certain commissions lately issued to take their vessels and goods. 
As for the operations of the last year, it was declared, in order that the 

1 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 134, the charge and take the coals; if they get not 

135. About four years earlier than this date coals, the country to bear the charge." (Mass. 

the General Court passed an order "that a Col. Records, i. 253.) Winthrop makes no refer- 

shallop should be sent to the eastward to get ence to this voyage, 
coals, which if they get, the smiths are to bear 2 Winthrop, Hist, of New England, ii. 179, 180. 


doings of the colonial authorities might not be misconstrued, that the men 
hired by La Tour " did not act either by command, counsel, or commission 
of the government here established; they went as volunteers." If any un- 
lawful action was committed at that time, the Colony would be ready to 
render satisfaction; "for as we are not willing to bear injuries whilst we 
have in our hands to right ourselves, we ever desire to be conscientiously 
careful not to offer any ourselves, nor to approve of it in any of ours." 
Satisfaction was then demanded for the taking of the goods of Sir Richard 
Saltonstall and the imprisoning of his men ; for the taking of Penobscot